Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hulu Adds Viacom Shows

While You Tube has cornered amateur UGC, and niche online networks like NextNewNetworks and My Damn Channel are developing more polished UGC, Hulu or Hula, as some still think to call it, is becoming the destination for broadcast and cable long form and short form content - movies, tv shows, and clips. Initially a partnership of Fox and NBC, the launch of Viacom shows like The Daily Show further expands the reach and impact of hulu.

The hulu player continues to excel, making others like Joost, pale in comparison. As more content comes to hulu, however, it will need to come up with a better way to search for material as well as ways to recommend something to watch. The use of pre-roll advertising and overlays offers them a chance to monetize the content but they need to be considerate of the types of content being watched. It ruins the experience to put a pre roll in front of every short clip.

And now comes word that Disney is showing full length movies for a brief time on line with one pre roll spot, once it airs on the broadcast network. "Starting now, the company is offering films online for a week after they air on ABC as part of its "Wonderful World of Disney" franchise. Included are "Finding Nemo," "Monsters Inc.," "Haunted Mansion," "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen," "Princess Diaries 2," "Freaky Friday," and "Peter Pan.""

This seems more stunt than anything else. Perhaps the pre roll will be used to promote some other Disney venture. Beyond movies, Disney has so much great video in its archives that could be monetized online. I certainly would love to see some of those old TV shows again. While it would seem unlikely that Disney would ever partner with Hulu, the power of the Disney brand would enable it to thrive on its own as a destination portal to all its great content.