It’s the “third anniversary” of Hulu, otherwise known in the beginning of the end of network TV. And now, the message that Hulu is leaking to the press is that Hulu is a grand success. The company has released revenue numbers — $100M — and said it’s profitable. The loyal press mavens (myself included, I guess), are lapping up the Hulu success story.
Yes, it is a success story. Hulu’s a great site, and a good concept. Real media people banded together to take on low-quality Internet viral video. There’s no reason we should be surprised that large amounts of high production-quality entertainment TV can’t be successful over cat videos on the Web. As I wrote a few months ago, it’s likely that video will take on an increasingly large role on the Internet, and become more profitable, because the costs of delivery are declining rapidly.
The New York Times has a classic ‘We Are Too Erudite to Commit’ headline on the topic: “Successes (and Some Growing Pains) at Hul.” Thanks NYT. You mean growing a $100M company from scratch has some challenges? To its credit, the NYT story does add a minor scoop: Hulu will have an iPad app.
The New York Times says that the Website is coming under pressure from its content owners NBC Universal, the News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company, to add subscription products and boost advertising margins. Well, of course the content companies want more money. That’s because they still haven’t come to grips with the fact that their broadcast business model is turning to sand, and they think there’s going to be a gravy train on the Internet. My message: Chill out dudes, you have a massive, growing Internet property. Use it to your advantage!
Actually, I think the place that Hulu should focus most is the mobile space. Can you imagine a conrnucopia of high-quality content available for iPads, tablet computers, and the like? There will be huge opportunities to ad new subscription and advertising models there.