Headline, May26, 2014



JUST as President Barrack Obama knows, and relishes, -all those lovely memories: That one of the main reasons of his electoral success was his:

Brilliantly effective deployment of young e-communicators. Their tireless use of blogs and social-networking sites helped to generate excitement, collect money, get the vote out and raise political consciousness in America as a whole.

Pakistan's super son, politician Imran Khan, intuitively knew what to do, -in the last elections-  but  missed out on some elements of a winning  e-strategy. For now, this too, is as good a time as any,  for him to get a twinkle in his eye, and sort things out?!

For President Barrack Obama and Imran Khan  -winning or losing-  all that happened was a landmark in the political history of the Internet. For the transforming  -and at best, liberating-  effects of modern communications have been even:

More dramatic in societies that are poorer and harsher than America: countries were authoritarian regimes, utter nonsense, rigid mores had until recently given ''the great heroes of the world''  -the youngsters, The Students-  little room for manoeuvre.

But in fullness of time the world clicks away, every moment for change. Spearheaded by the Students of the World : !WOW!

It is in this lifting sweep that I revert to the master post on Hulu: 

It therefore appears that Mr Kilar has, in effect, answered a lot of the questions. He contemplated user-generated content, then decided that  ''the world didn't need yet another''   YouTube; so  Hulu has only professional content, and advertisers love it.

He also talked with his bosses at NBC Universal and Fox and agreed that aggregating the content of many was  ''something potentially much larger'' then piping out the videos of just two. Hulu now offers content from hundreds of partners.

Mr Kilar also bet on streaming via the web, rather than letting users download. Rivals such as Joost have made the same choice. Films and TV differ from music, says Mike Volpi, Joost's boss, in that people usually watch a show only once but listen to a song again and again.

There is a place for Apple's model of downloading and buying videos -children, for example, like to watch the same TV programme many times  -but the market is likely to be smaller.

Mr Kilar was early to choose the right way of streaming video: through the browser, with a simple and sleek design. YouTube is cluttered. And the service should be easy to use that  ''my mother would be proficient on it in 15 seconds or less with no help from me.''

Accordingly, he decided against making user download a special piece of software, which would not have ''passed the mom test.'' This turned out to be correct. Joost started by offering video through its own software application, but lost out to Hulu and did an about-face.

In 2009, January, it discontinued its downloadable application and began streaming only through the browser. This late conversion was Joost's  ''biggest flaw'', says IBB's Mr Shahid Khan, and now leaves it far behind.   

The browser-based approach favours streaming rather than downloads, but that does not mean that the paid-for download model is dead. Mr Shahid Khan thinks that some viewers will want to own content, and that may become a premium option on free services such as Hulu.

But the bigger lesson from Hulu's success is that supporting streamed video with advertising, rather than charging for downloads, turns out to work very well. Hulu's ads are few and short, with a subtle countdown timer that makes them even more bearable.

In some cases viewers can choose which ad to watch, so it is more likely to be relevant to their interests. And people tend to remember the advertisements they seen on Hulu much better than they recall television ads, says Mr Kilar, so advertisers are pleased.

It is too early to declare Hulu  the winner. ''It has done a very good job,'' admitted Joost's Mr Volpi,  -some years ago-, but ''the die has not been cast yet.''

Shahid Khan thinks Amazon's offering may become more compelling, and that TV.com, formerly a provider of television listings and now a streaming site owned by CBS, may yet come from behind. But for the moment it appears that YouTube proved that people would:

Watch videos online   -whereas Hulu is proving that advertisers would foot the bill.

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

'''Destination : Honour '''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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