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iTunes Alternative, Hulu, Goes from Beta to Live
Monday, March 10th, 2008 at 4:00 PM - by John Martellaro
The joint venture between News Corp. and NBC Universal, Hulu, is set to go officially live on Wednesday, according to Variety. Content from other partners, Warners Brothers and Liongate will also be included.
Huliu is set to launch with about 250 TV shows in addition to 100 feature films. All are add supported. According to Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, this quadruples the previous content in the beta stage.
Other partners are also being sought, including Disney/ABC and CBS, but no deals have been signed.
Programming will include Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Office, The Simpsons and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and SciFi, including some older hits like Airwolf.
"People will be very surprised at the content being made available on a free, ad-supported basis," Mr. Kilar said. Hulu claims they have gone from zero to 5 million views since the Beta started in October. However, the number of unique viewers was not disclosed.
The challenge now is to convince viewers that theyll want to watch free TV shows and movies from the Hulu library on the Internet, on a smaller screen, with commercials when they could be using a DVR on their regular TV to skip those commercials. Apples iTunes library offers TV shows for sale, generally for $1.99 each, but without commercials. In addition, they can be moved to their video iPod. Time will tell whether theres a market for both viewing models on the Internet.
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