I’ve been using Hulu.com for a couple of weeks now and absolutely love it!
My wife and I are getting more and more accustomed to watching TV shows (due to the writer’s strike) online with our laptops …. and when I heard about this awesome venture between NBC and Fox, I jumped on a beta signup.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of excellent (read: “premium”) content on Hulu as well as most of the other TV network sites.
The beauty of Hulu is that you only have to watch short commercials, which to us, are an EXTREMELY SMALL price to pay to have the 24-7 access we get. (Especially when I’m still too cheap to get a DVR!)
Anyway …. what occurred to me pretty fast is that Hulu, or the idea behind it, is the future for the TV networks in particular.
See what I just did?
I just put a TV screen in the middle of my blog.
With Hulu’s embed code feature, I can broadcast one of my favorite episodes of The Office right on my website …. to you and others who I’ve tried to carefully cultivate to read my site and return.
Or translated in corporate marketing terms: I just gave them a free venue to show their commercials to my site’s readership. I broadened their exposure a little bit more with the click of a Publish button.
Apply this to dozens, hundreds, or maybe even thousands of sites.
They have just with one simple feature brought viral marketing to TV …. online.
The biggest comparison I have to this is Google.
Their custom search engine feature allow bloggers and websites to put their search engine on thousands of websites. By giving away tons of space and Superman-sized spam protection with Gmail, they can serve their text ads to me most of my day (I use Gmail for everything I do).
I think about it like this …. one day I decide to build a four-lane highway in a busy, booming area of Oklahoma City, where I live. I do this for absolutely for FREE. There’s no cost to the city, county or even those who drive on my brand-new road.
The catch is … I get to put up billboard advertising all along that highway … where thousands of drivers will see ….
Only bandwidth and server space are ridiculously cheaper than asphalt!
It’s a whole new awesome business model that I’m still grappling with it myeslf.
But it’s fascinating to me.
And if Hulu and NBC and Fox and others continue to pioneer cheap ways to give me — the Average Joe TV viewer — an easy way to help broadcast those shows — and their ads — to my readers … wow, what a new new future to explore!