Business, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Planning, Strategy

Hulu – winning the online video battle

If you are not from United States then you probably don’t know much about Hulu, but if you are from United States then I am pretty sure that you would be knowing about Hulu. The reason behind this is that as soon as you open Hulu it tells you that you can view shows only in the United States of America! Why are they doing this? Because that is what most of the world and advertisers want to target. Here is an introduction of Hulu quoting from the NYTimes

Hulu, which in the last 18 months has become the third most popular video site on the Web, behind YouTube and Fox Interactive Media, displays free, high-quality versions of television shows and movies, supported by advertising.

In just past 18 months Hulu has achieved what most video sharing sites have not been able to do in years. Hulu has been able to become number 3 in termsof most popular video site, it has contracts with 3 out of the 4 top media companies in US. It has tv series of NBC, Fox, Disney and ABC. Hulu streamed 390 million videos in March, and the best thing is that Hulu is estimated to make almost the same amount of revenue as Youtube! Youtube has about 5.9 billion video views in March and Hulu had just 390 million, still both are expected to have the same revenue! Youtube probably has a different aim and target segment. Hulu has a different plan and in it has really targeted its users well! Some of the policies at Hulu which really make sense-

  • Premium Content – Everyone likes to watch funny videos and Youtube is great for that but what about tv shows? TV Shows do not want to be on the same platform as a funny personal video of someone. Moreover TV Shows and such content gets much more attention, more views, and more advertisements.
  • Segmentation: Less Views, More Revenue – Through the segmentation of US vs the rest of the world, Hulu has been able to generate more advertising revenue through less views and in turn lower costs. Streaming is expensive and Youtube has to pay heavily for its 5.9 billion video views. Although through these views Youtube might be targeting the growing economies of the world which Hulu is missing out.
  • Sharing Equity – Most of the media houses know the value of their content. They also know the threat of piracy. The media houses wanted an exit but with enough compensation for themselves. Hulu has given them stake in itself thus making them partners and ensuring their support.
  • Advertising US Brands – Hulu has been able to replicate the model of television by showing advertisements in the online version as well. Such advertisements are not as disturbing as text ads/flashing ads in the sidebar. Their policy is clean and well suited for viewers.
  • Become Internet Television – With the increase in connectivity, the television is bound to shift to the web. Hulu has formed good alliances and it all set to pose a challenge to Youtube. Hulu lies in between Youtube & Television! Hulu knows the opportunity and looks all set to capture it.

To end the discussion I will just say that Hulu with its clear objectives, focus, alliances and strategy has done what no other video site could do! I am sure the coming few years will see a lot of wars being fought online but I believe that Hulu will be able to tackle them very well.

Sources for information: NYTimes, TechCrunch and SeekingAlpha

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2 thoughts on “Hulu – winning the online video battle

  1. I think the most important success factor @hulu is the super high speed net connectivity in the US… I don’t think a Hulu in India would have clicked , atleast till 2009… majority of the ISPs provide net at pathetic speeds

  2. Agreed US has great net speeds but the article is aimed at finding out the differences between Hulu vs the rest. I think Hulu would be decently successful in India because people who watch US TV Shows should have decent net connections 🙂

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