Hulu’s Latest Hot Ticket

When it comes to digital distribution, one of the big online commercial sites for video has certainly been Hulu. In only four short years of life, Hulu has carved out a tremendous niche with a huge tribe of trusting, loyal fans and users.  While Hulu is “independent” to some degree, NBCUniversal, Newscorp and even Disney are part of the ownership team.

For anyone not familiar with Hulu yet, at its core, it is simply an online video service providing formally, commercially produced content, such as movies, television shows, clips, and other content, coming in from a very wide variety of sources, such as FOX, NBCUniversal, ABC, Criterion, A&E Networks, TED and a very long list of other content providers.

So why, after four years of great digital distribution, am I writing about Hulu?  Because they are about to take a huge leap of faith and add another original production to their arsenal – original content is a journey that even Oprah Winfrey herself can tell you is fraught with danger.  So in addition to movies and primetime TV hits such as Modern Family, Glee, The Office, etc., etc., etc., viewers can also download Hulu’s own creations (A Day in the Life and The Morning After), as well as their newest addition, “Paul, the Male Matchmaker” (launching on Monday, February 13th exclusively on Hulu).  The launch date is no accident – the 10-episode comedy is a mockumentary about a socially inept man who inherits a matchmaking service – who then does out brutally honest dating advice in the sincere belief that he is helping women find love.

Actor/writer Paul Bartholomew (Mad Men; Yes, Dear), who stars in the series, said, “This show is for anyone who has ever been set up on a horribly misguided date by their sister, friend, co-worker — and then been blamed for it not working out. Which is basically everyone.”

Finally, original, full-length commercially produced web series’ are starting to find a foothold – and a distribution portal like Hulu is exactly the venue to bring enough attention and a strong enough fan base to move audiences to show up week after week. Rock on Hulu, we’re looking forward to where you go next!

Kelli Richards
The All Access Group, LLC



Tech + Media – The Honeymoon Between GoogleTV and Logitech Ends, but the Marriage Continues

The marriage of tech and media is definitely a rocky one at times, and Web TV is no exception.  Despite all promises, like all relationships things are always evolving between tech and media – and sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t. The latest tech / media couple in trouble appears to be Logitech and Google.  With the rocky start to Google TV (the biggest player in Web TV so far), Logitech is also hung up in every way possible. Why?  They supply the tech end of Google TV with the Revue Google TV set-top box.

Google TV is a pretty cool product – and quite possibly the future of ALL television – or at least a glimpse of it, providing access to live TV, on-demand programming, recorded shows, pay TV, online video clips and, of course, the web.

Will Web TV replace regular TV any time soon? Probably not.  But don’t count Google (or Logitech) out of the running.  Someone’s going to nab the real estate on Web TV, and for their part, Logitech is willing to continue the union.  In fact, they’re lowering the price to make the hardware accessible to almost anybody.

Losing the market share before one is really created is obviously not an outcome that Logitech will go for. In fact Logitech’s Chairman, Guerrino De Luca, was quoted this week as saying:  “There was a significant gap between our price and the value perceived by the consumer.”

Market share is the moral of the story for both the data and the technology side of the equation right now.  Any day now Google TV should be accessible by Android, and with 130 million users, that is a big deal. For now, Logitech has chosen to bite the revenue bullet and get more customers.  That means a lower price in order to boost the real estate for Google.

It’s hard to imagine Apple or Sony supporting the music industry by lowering the price of hardware to encourage market participation, but if this is an indication of what might work, then Blu-Ray may actually still stand a chance.