Headline, May25, 2014

''' History -HULU- Hurray '''

In the spring of 2007 Jason Kilar was trying to beef up the video offerings of his employer, Amazon, the world's largest  online retailer, when he got a call from a head-hunting firm:

Would he consider running  Hulu, a new joint venture by two  ''old media''  giants, NBC Universal and News Corp?  The idea was to enter the confusing  online-video market by starting a service from scratch-   and doing it properly.

Mr Kilar said Yes. He showed up in his new office in Santa Monica, near Los Angeles, and with his small team started scribbling ideas on the  ''whiteboard'' wallpaper.

The excitement as well as the confusion had started in 2006, when a young website, YouTube, shot out of nowhere to become that year's  ''next big thing''. Within months,  YouTube  had sold itself to Google, the world's largest Internet Firm.

YouTube had risen so fast by making it easy to watch and share videos in any web browser, and by making it almost as easy to upload home-made videos to its site. Such  ''user-generated content''  seemed to be the future.

In one sense this turned out to be correct. YouTube went on to dominate web videos as measured by the number of videos that users watch. Its social and even political importance are hard to overstate.

 And tutorials about tying shoelaces or folding origami to Yoga and aerobics instruction, YouTube has changed lives. But there was a catch. Advertisers, by and large, will not touch user-generated content with a barge pole.

Its quality is variable, to say the least; its content occasionally off-putting. No brand wants to be near it. And much of it is illegal  -pirated from large media companies and uploaded by fans. Media giants, led by Viacom, were suing. So there was a threat of costs and no promise of revenues.

YouTube is undoubtedly a phenomenon, but it is not a business. So others showed up hoping to fill the gap. Until recently, says Shahid Khan, a video analyst at IBB  Consulting, there were only question-marks.

Did a new service need user generated content as well as professional videos? Was it better to aggregate content of many video companies or to be an outlet for just one? Would people prefer to download films or television shows to their computers-

Then transfer them to their iPods, as Apple was betting? Or would they prefer ''streaming'' a video just once? If so, might they be persuaded to install a bespoke video application onto their computers, or would they insist on watching videos inside their web browser?

Would they pay to watch, or would advertising provide the revenues?

Almost every permutation has been tried. From Amazon to Apple, from Netflix to Joost, from ABC to CBS's TV.com, companies old and young started serving videos over the Internet.

Into this mess Mr Kilar tried to enter with the service that was to be Hulu. The bloggers at first scoffed: it turns out that Hulu can mean  ''cease and desist''  in Swahili. But then they started paying attention.

Today, even though advertising is destined for a depression. Hulu appears to have clarified much of the confusion. At the time, 2009, Mr Kilar will not say what revenue or profit Hulu was making. But it seems to be successful by any measure.

Although  Hulu   is still far behind YouTube,  -users have been flocking to it, watching  216m  videos in  (2009) alone. And Just as importantly Hulu's inventory for advertisers appears to be sold out.

So  Hulu  is in the rare position  of being able to increase inventory  -through new content and more views-    and make money from it. In 2009, Hulu had more than 100 advertisers -including big brands such as McDonald's, Bank of America and Best Buy. 

The Honour and Serving of the Post continues. All technologists to stay tuned.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' What The World Is Coming To!? '''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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