Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Techcrunch ask whether Hulu could be a bigger business than YouTube

TC have run a pretty poorly written (my thoughts anyway - sketchy data and assumptions - still it's better than reading about social media startups with no business model and 400m valuations) article about YouTube v Hulu over here - http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/09/01/can-hulu-be-a-bigger-business-than-youtube/

Interestingly, TC head honcho Michael Arrington used to call Hulu Clownco (which was allegedly Google's internal name for the service) repeatedly (http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/08/09/wow-clown-co-got-that-1-billion-valuation-still-nameless-though/) and was pretty dismissive of the concept; and the tech media absolutely flogged the concept when it launched, lambasting it as a flop and giving the NBC/Fox brainstrust advice on how to make it really work (example: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/hulu.php)

Now it seems the US tech media is embracing Hulu and maybe, just maybe, are open to the fact that a bunch of TV guys might actually have a more viable business with web video than YouTube. It will be interesting to watch TechCrunch cover Hulu over the next 12 months.

Can Hulu be more viable than YouTube? I don't know. Right now, absolutely ... Hulu in my opinion could command 10-20x the CPMs YouTube can - plus they can monetise all their inventory (YouTube can monetise approx 3-4% of theirs) PLUS they can (if done smartly) bundle Hulu placements in with TV buys (ie you buy 30 Rock via 7 for TV and also buy in on the online component at the same time via Hulu). However the biggest thing is trust, traditional brand advertisers trust what they know - and they know TV, TV shows and the production houses.

They're not quite sure on YouTube. Case in point - show a brand manager at nameless FMCG company or Movie distributor the most popular videos (http://au.youtube.com/browse?s=mp) and they will turn their nose up and ask to not be placed near that content.

In the future - who knows - never discount Google to come up with a game changing idea ... however they need to hurry up as they might lose the momentum they had and Hulu is focused on global expansion so the clock is ticking.

No comments: