from Fan Fare:
Video streaming Web site Hulu.com marked its one-year anniversary on Thursday by announcing new social networking features, as the site seeks to gain ground on other Internet entertainment hubs.
The Web site, a joint venture between General Electric Co.-owned NBC Universal and News Corp., launched "Hulu Friends" which integrates functions from social networking sites MySpace and Facebook, as well as e-mail providers Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail, and allows users to see what their friends are watching, share new videos and leave notes for each other.
Hulu, which allows visitors to view television episodes and movies on their home computers, still has a long way to go if it hopes to catch up to video sharing giant YouTube.com. Internet tracking site comScore reported this month that YouTube accounted for about 43 percent of all videos viewed over the Internet in January. By comparison, Hulu.com had only a 1.7 percent share of all videos viewed. The Google-owned YouTube has reached out to mainstream entertainment companies, including Universal Music Group, as the site seeks to add more premium entertainment on its site. But unlike YouTube, which mostly has short video clips, Hulu allows users to view entire episodes, and it has positive trends in its favor.
After jumping to become the sixth most viewed online U.S. video site in October, Hulu managed to keep its spot in November despite not having the benefit of a Sarah Palin/Tina Fey boost from Saturday Night Live.
Everyone wants to save money in these troubled economic times. For those of you craving a flat-panel TV, Bernstein Research suggests you might be able to afford a “nice” LCD model if you cancel your cable bill and utilize free Web video sites like Hulu.com for a year.
The video website owned by News Corp and NBC Universal is apparently thinking of expanding to Britain, France, Germany and Japan. But don’t get too excited. Peter Smith, president of NBC Universal International, told a conference that while Hulu would love to push out its boundaries, there aren’t yet any concrete plans.
There’s a little something for everybody in the media industry in Frank N. Magid Associates’ annual study of user/viewer/reader behavior. We got a look at some of the findings and took especial note of stats on online video usage, research sponsored by video sharing site Metacafe.
NBCU is not for sale. Got that?GE Chairman Jeff Immelt plans to put to bed persistent rumors that the industrial conglomerate is considering courting buyers for its broadcast, cable and movies division after the Beijing Olympics, according to the New York Times, citing Immelt’s note to GE investors in its annual report that will be filed on Wednesday.NYT quotes from the letter:“Should we sell NBCU? The answer is no!”"I just don’t see it happening. Not before the Olympics, not after the Olympics. It doesn’t make sense.”Immelt tells investors NBCU earnings are also expected to jump 10 percent this year.Speculation gathered steam last October after the Financial Times reported about Immelt considering NBCU’s fate only after the Olympics in August, citing unnamed sources. That set the chatter mill abuzz with scenario-spinning with potential suitors for pieces, if not the whole.But who really wants a broadcast network — and who doesn’t already have one — these days?(NYTimes)Keep an eye on:
Hulu launches, finally. (Reuters)
Spitzer, from all angles. (HuffPost)
Disney sees $1 billion from online content revenue in 2008, up from $700 million in 2007. (paidContent)
AOL replaces head of Platform A after just seven months. (NYPost)