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Print 24 comment(s) - last by Gul Westfale.. on Nov 2 at 11:19 AM


House's Dr. Allison Cameron says "Men should grow up." (Occam's Razor, Season 1)  (Source: Fox)
The diagnosis is: a new service that offers on demand television on the internet, for free.

NBC-Universal and News Corp.'s Fox announced this week that their new service Hulu is beginning its beta test.

This service will aim to broadcast television and movies on the Internet, as they would be on TV, with revenues paid for by advertising spots.

Popular shows such as “House,” “The Simpsons” and “The Office” will all be available to watch.

You can sign up for an account and get in on the hulu-balu here.

Besides free access to movies and TV, the services aims to allows users to repost content outside the main site, similar to YouTube.  Users will have full legal permission to either embed an entire clip in a link or on the web, or embedded a specific clip from the content.

This more open permissions will likely lead to less headaches on Fox and NBC's part.  YouTube, which doesn't have such permissions and Google Video have both been blasted for piracy, as detailed in a recent DailyTech article.

Google was sued by Viacom earlier this year, for allegedly knowingly allowing the posting on its video websites of certain clips from TV networks such as Comedy Central.

Likely, the clips will cost more in order to make them this open, but Hulu only offers a small selection of premium television and cinema content, whereas YouTube offers some TV clips, but also offers a deluge quirky home videos.  The markets, while easily mistaken, are quite different, so the business model of advertising spot revenue for more open content seems to make sense.

The site will soon also be receiving support from Sony and MGM who have promised their own movie and TV content.

Some say that NBC's strong push to launch this service is an attempt to retaliate at Apple over their failed iTunes contract negotiations.  It was reported yesterday that NBC was hoping to get a cut of every iPod sold, as Apple "sold them on [NBC's] back".

Fox, however is for the most part pleased with its iTunes contract, by all indications.  It is simply hoping to expand its offerings and reach a broader audience.

Many DailyTech readers may be excited by the inclusion of NBC's Chuck, and soon Sci-fi Channel shows, such as Lost in Space.

Whether Hulu becomes a hit is yet to be seen, but the concept is certainly intriguing.



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Hah
By Polynikes on 11/1/2007 1:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
The service will be so ad-laded to financially support itself that with everyone loading all the ads, there'll be no more bandwidth left to watch shows. (I kid.)

Seriously, though, they're gonna have to work hard to minimize the intrusiveness of the ads to make this worth bothering with. Otherwise people will just go back to watching an actual TV. DVRs have quite a bit of life left in them, I think.




RE: Hah
By Ringold on 11/1/2007 8:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
If you visit the site and check the blog, they posted an example free episode of The Office.

Three or four ads about Pizza of about 5 seconds each in duration? It hits you fast enough you hardly realized you've been.. mind-raped with an advertisement by the time it's over.

I hope thats representative of how it'll end up being in production.. I'd rather have a more smooth transition than a jarring switch from whatever the scene is about to "BUY PAPA JOHNZZZZ OMG!!!1", but.. it wasn't too bad.

Not as good as an HDTV rip either, but that's asking for a lot perhaps, heh


RE: Hah
By Targon on 11/2/2007 7:34:15 AM , Rating: 2
Costs are relative when it comes to things like this, and we don't know how much money they will pull in for an advertising spot.


"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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