Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Hulu: Bigger, Friendlier. Still Missing Two Networks.

hulu-punchedLots of news emanating from Hulu today–but nothing ground-moving. That could still come in the near future: I keep hearing that the joint venture between GE’s (GE) NBC and News Corp.’s (NWS) Fox is getting close to a deal to bring Disney’s (DIS) ABC into the fold. But no confirmation yet. And no one seems hopeful that CBS (CBS) will come aboard anytime soon. (News Corp. is the owner of Dow Jones, which owns this Web site.)

In the meantime, Hulu wants us to know that:

  • It’s now the biggest video site that isn’t Google’s (GOOG) YouTube, at least according to one count. Nielsen’s VideoCensus pegs the site’s February traffic at 309 million video views, which puts it ahead of News Corp.’s MySpace and Yahoo (YHOO). But as AdAge’s Michael Learmonth notes, it’s still not on the same playing field as YouTube, which generated 5.2 billion views during the same period.
  • It’s not just a video site, it’s a social network. Or at least, it now has some social-network-like features, like the ability to share favorite clips with your pals. TV.com, Sling.com, Joost, et al, do something similar. The good news is that Hulu lets you import connections from Facebook, MySpace, Google, etc. The bad news is that this won’t appease broadcast and cable TV executives who worry that Hulu takes eyeballs away from their offerings, despite what someone told The Wall Street Journal today.
  • Hulu users really, really like their “Saturday Night Live.” The show’s clips accounted for nine of the ten most emailed clips in the last year and eight of the ten most viewed videos that were embedded in other sites. Like this one.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”