Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

A Few Tunes for Hulu: Here’s Norah Jones

norah jonesHere’s a match up that makes plenty of sense: EMI Music Group, which has a new Norah Jones album to promote, is showing her videos on Hulu, the video joint venture that specializes in “premium” content.

But oddly, the deal is the only one of its kind. While the big music labels have played footsie with Hulu in the past, they have yet to actually move any of their clips there.

That could still happen one day, and the site hints that you may see more clips coming down the road. But Hulu is less valuable for the labels than it could have been a year ago: Since then, three of the big four have struck deals that give them much more incentive to show their stuff on Google’s (GOOG) YouTube, the world’s biggest video site.

Vivendi’s Universal Music and Sony (SNE) have a deal that locks up their stuff exclusively on Vevo, a sort of “Hulu for music videos” that will be powered by YouTube. And Warner Music Group (WMG) has convinced YouTube to give the label its own branded channel for its clips.

No word on financials for the Hulu deal, but I’d surprised if this generates much cash for EMI. Hulu’s core partners–News Corp.’s (NWS) Fox, GE’s (GE) NBC Universal and Disney’s (DIS) ABC–have deals that let them keep 70 percent of any ad revenue their stuff generates on the site. But other partners get closer to 50 percent.

In other Norah news, my soon-to-be sort-of neighbor is having construction problems. Here she is taking on one of the great Wilco songs:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald