I have been in the wings watching these folks. Timing was right. The stealth-like approach appeals to me. I've had it on my list to keep my writer hat on and reach out to them. I must admit, I haven't. So, no, I don't work for them - and, no, they are not a client. Let's just get that clear. There are always a few of you cynics out there that think we only write positive stuff for commodity. Sorry to disappoint you. I write as it's cathartic; what I write is to scratch below the surface.
But I digress. Perhaps it's the holiday-for-many-but-not-for-me. OK, I think you'll agree video is still hot. Anything hot yields a host of skeptics. They think hot = trend. In some cases, maybe. From my trenches, there are still a heck of a lot of people who don't get video... why it's viable... how to implement it... how their target audience views and uses it... to name a few.
So consider this for a second. When I say video, what do most of you think of? YouTube. Ugh, yes. I don't mean to be dismissive of YouTube but sheesh, people. I said it before and I'll say it again -- it is a petri dish for potential lawsuits swirling with the likes of copyright infringement, harassment, false identity...the list goes on.
Again big caveat: I am not dissing YouTube. I am amazed by the nanoseconds that something somewhere becomes viral and spawns any word of mouth. I am also somewhat stupefied how hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- of people race to launch links of cats on toilets or tone-deaf kids singing hip hop. Why isn't anyone figuring out how to use it positively? Okay I take that back on a small scale the real estate industry is. But hey they've had a bit more time on their hands than we've had.
So back to Hulu. The name is odd but clever; the domain was actually available (and in 4 letters); the site is somewhat cryptic and a bit campy; and it seems a bit Gmail-esque in its beta. Not sure if I like or dislike it -- but guess I like it. Weed out the company description/mission statement -- and it's all about providing users with premium programming in the U.S. -- and it hopes internationally. There's word that Viacom and Time Warner video content will soon run on Hulu.
Sure the words "premium programming" are tough to swallow in the wake of the writer's strike ending. The media world needed to figure out how to provide TV shows, movies, whatever, to users how and when they wanted it. I think the people behind Hulu might be the ones. Check 'em out and let me know what you think. In the meantime, yoohoo, Hulu! I am out here and would love to peek in the tent.