Denuo's Tobaccowala Does A Hulu Dance
"They all have to eat crow," he said of Hulu's numerous pre-launch naysayers during a presentation at Media magazine's Forecasting Conference in New York. In particular, his jibe was aimed at members of the blogosphere, which he described collectively as "the bitterness network."
"They're bitter because traditional media is doing what they said it couldn't," said Tobaccowala, who has led Publicis Groupe's futures practice since its inception early last year.
After months of speculation and premature death knells, Hulu launched in private beta on Monday to many favorable reviews, including from Tobaccowala.
"It's absolutely amazing from a company that everybody said was the Clown Company," Tobaccowala said, referring to a group of influential bloggers who began calling Hulu "Clown Co." long before it was officially named.
According to TechCrunch's Michael Arrington--who has readily used the moniker "Clown Co." for months--it was a group of Google employees who first came up with the name.
The fate of Hulu is still highly uncertain, and will only be determined by consumer adoption and retention rates over time. The service's destination site is still accessible only by invitation, and is expected to remain so for several months to come.
One challenge facing Hulu's backers is the issue of mounting operating costs like the expense of storing vast libraries of high-quality video on back-end servers.
Still, Tobaccowala expressed optimism on Tuesday over the fate of Hulu, because the ambitious service fits with his broader ideology on the future of the media and marketing.
According to Tobaccowala, the industry is increasingly being led by four major trends: globalization; decentralization; a seamless linkage of data; and networks of information and relationships.
Hulu--which aims to transform the way consumers experience long-form content by giving it away across limitless touchpoints around the Web --abides by at least three of these trends at the moment.