Despite some all-night conference calls prior to launch, online-video site Hulu did not collapse prior to opening its doors for business. But keep refreshing. Despite pleasant early reviews of the sites service — people are variously describing its service as "really slick" and "very nice" — NBC and News Corp.'s joint venture is in trouble. Why?
Silicon Alley Insider points out that most of the content with which Hulu debuts today is already available online. Even when users do use the service, only 20 to 30 percent of the ad revenue generated goes to Hulu. The rest gets siphoned back to its corporate parents, who actually own the supposedly exclusive content. Yet, Hulu carries all of the overhead and R&D costs.
Add it up and it's no wonder Hulu management is reportedly talking to YouTube, the site Hulu's corporate parents hoped it would kill, for a distribution deal. Credit Hulu CEO and former Amazon exec Jason Kilar this: The man knows how to belly crawl.