The unexpected success of Hulu.com (the joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp) has caused broad rethinking within the media about how to distribute TV and other video online. They wonder: Do we partner with Hulu or build our own?
Hulu has become a top-10 video site. In August, by ComScore's measure, it served more than 122 million Tv shows. Hulu has been able to build a brand from nothing and create a significant consumer business just by putting TV on the web. (However, Hulu still gets a fraction of YouTube's 5 billion monthly videos.)
HBO, which is not ad-supported is developing a video portal at hbo.com and says that will push the limit of what it can do without cannibalizing cable subscription. Its plan includes offering clips and some full episodes.
Corporate sibling Warner Bros. is attempting to revive the WB TV network and plans its own Hulu-like site site.
Joost, the last start-up to launch with Hulu-like buzz in 2006, has spent much of the past year retooling, creating a web-based interface to make itself a bit more like Hulu.
Viral TV clips will drive larger audiences than conventional TV
The number of people who have watched Saturday Night Live (SNL)’s Sarah Palin’s clips on the web (at NBC.com, Hulu and YouTube) surpassed the 15 million that watched on TV. This is important: viral TV clips will soon drive larger audiences on the web.
Innovation journalism is more relevant than investigative journalism
Read these observations on media from experts attending the Bioneers 2008 conference:
“TV is a powerful media whose agenda was once created by newspapers. Newspapers, though, are on their way out. You can set the agenda for television by using new media –blog, YouTube, Facebook and other popular sites –and being the source of stories that television stations will want to pick up.”
“Niche TV is a new wave. Focusing a program or station on specific issues rather than broad strokes is on its way in. But it needs money. We have to demand money be sent to visionary media makers, rather than junk TV.”
“Innovation journalism is becoming more relevant than investigative journalism –finding out how everything works together and taking a look at it in new ways. Media is changing from one-way messaging service to an interactive format for information exchange.”
TV journalists forced to learn new skills
More and more voices talk about the urgency to re-engineer local TV news. Right now in a new fractured digital world, stories are too expensive to produce with the old model. Newsroom must produce and aggregate multiple forms of content –even non-news content- on multiple platforms with a streamlined cost structure.
Employees must learn new skills and become more adept at juggling multiple specialties. Writers, for example, should know how to write TV stories, web stories and blog posts. They should also know how to edit videos and photos.
Fox launches new publishing platform
Lin TV is pulling its 29 stations off World Now and switching to Fox Interactive Media’s publishing system called the Digital Publishing Platform and described “as a true plug-and-play solution”, that provides “a la carte menu of features, from which you include what you see fit.”
Fox Interactive Media says that “this helps keep cost down –you pay for what you want- and it also ensures that each Web site is unique.”
The platform allows to custom develop desired items, and includes, video, blogs, social networking, geocoding and the ability to plug in external RSS feeds. WPRI is the first non-Fox Lin to switch to the new platform and design, and WISHtv.com is the second.
It’s clear that Fox Interactive Media has moved into the platform business to take on the likes of WorldNow, IB, Clickability, Zope4Media, DTI, Inergize and BIM.
What is sure that TV stations want a lot more options than anyone has been offering. They don’t want all their sites to look exactly the same, and they want the ability to customize what they offer their visitors. Something that you can adjust on the fly, and can add or subtract widgets and indexes without a major site redesign.