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NBC Universal and News Corporation’s video site Hulu launches

Rachel Hawkes (Social Media Portal) - 12 March 2008

Online video sharing site Hulu has announced the launch of their site to the US public.  From today, Hulu users will be able to stream tv shows, full length movies and video clips at no cost.
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Media giants NBC Universal and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, the companies behind Hulu, first announced their plans to launch a site they hoped to rival YouTube in March 2007, with testing beginning in August and private beta in October 2007.  In addition to private funding, Hulu is supported by advertising, with brands such as Cisco, General Motors and Cadbury-Schweppes announcing their plans to advertise on the site last year.

Jason Kilar, Hulu’s chief executive officer says that Hulu is crossing a milestone in allowing people to consume on-demand video content.  He comments, “With full-length episodes of current and archived television shows, feature films, sports and news, we believe the Hulu service is a step forward in giving consumers entertainment on their terms.”

The Hulu library, in both full length content and short clips, includes TV shows The Simpsons, The Office and Prison Break,  films 40 Year Old Virgin, Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Devil Wears Prada.

NBC Universal’s president and chief executive officer Jeff Zucker says, “Hulu.com’s impressive content line up and user experience are equally important in bringing consumers back again and again.  These are the same attributes that make Hulu attractive to major brands. Both groups see the value in a quality, clutter-free online service.”

Additional features of the Hulu website include the ability for users to embed the content on their own blogs and social networking sites and via the search functionality they will be able to locate other (legal) content from third party sites.  During the private beta period almost 6,000 clips were embedded on user’s blogs and online communities.

Distribution partners of the online video sharing site include AOL, Comcast’s Fancast.com, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo!  Hulu will provide viewers with access to content from over 50 providers including Fox, NBC Universal, MGM, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, E! Entertainment, National Geographic, Twentieth Century Fox, SciFi Channel, NBA and Oxygen. 

In October 2007, Hulu received $100 million USD investment from private equity firm Providence Equity Partners.



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