Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hulu's General Launch - A VOD Source

As Hulu.com approaches its general audience launch tomorrow, the web industry pundits are offering up considerable criticism.

My suggestion? Let's all keep in mind that this is the TV industry, with emphasis on "industry". While it has been interesting to sit at a computer and watch something on Hulu.com beta, that's missng the point. Hulu is a TV video-on-demand source that can be run on your TV by simply connecting a computer appropriately. And it's a pioneer from that perspective.

The technology needed to consistently deliver quality streaming video is still experimental. Hulu is experimenting with HD. Bandwidth availability nationwide is weak compared to what would be needed for HD streaming. Do you wonder what HD web site might not suffer from bandwidth problems for Comcast ISP customers? Hulu's distribution partnership through Comcast’s Fancast, plus AOL, MSN, Yahoo, and MySpace, as well as its own web site, is clever.

For a TV VOD site, it's a strong beginning to create a "one-stop-shop". Other sites exist for the amateur or budding professional to display their wares. And the TV networks need to continue attracting viewers to their sites to promote new programming.

Let's all avoid the temptation to compare this experiment with YouTube or cable video-on-demand. It will mature in its own way.

In the meantime, take a look at the content on Hulu.com either directly or through its partners. Perhaps an episode of "House"?

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