Hulu’s Biz Model Replicates Broadcast TV and it Works

Three snippets of recent buzz about Hulu:

  1. Hulu has attracted advertisers used to the TV advertising model (Alley Insider 11/10/08)
  2. Hulu is easier to use when searching for TV and movies. YouTube is a mess (NYT 11/10/08)
  3. YouTube is playing catchup to Hulu by offering brand name content – announces MGM film distribution deal (Wired blog 11/10/08)

Six observations about Hulu:

  1. Hulu is a replica of TV. No user-generated surprises, all programming has been broadcast traditionally.
  2. Strange to say, but Hulu’s success is based on copying the old world broadcast TV business model. This reinforces the fact that advertisers like the plain vanilla advertising model.
  3. Hulu gets complete support from the media industry because it’s one of them. YouTube / Google is still sparring with Viacom in court.
  4. Hulu is evolving naturally as a mass media, not a social media, model. It says a lot that the masses will go to Hulu when they are tired of the amateur quality of social media.
  5. Cable companies, a natural play for developing their own Hulu-like content distribution systems, hesitate to break their lucrative cable subscription fee model. Online media is perceived as a threat, just like newspapers thought last decade.
  6. Consumers have gotten used to fighting content distribution bottlenecks. Hulu delivers what they want free.

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email

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