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Summary:

A week after Warner Music and YouTube got into a public spat resulting in Warner music videos being pulled from the site, The Financial Times is reporting that major music labels might strike up a deal with premium content darling Hulu. Options being mulled by the […]

A week after Warner Music and YouTube got into a public spat resulting in Warner music videos being pulled from the site, The Financial Times is reporting that major music labels might strike up a deal with premium content darling Hulu. Options being mulled by the the labels reportedly include partnering with Hulu, creating a premium service on YouTube, or creating a standalone venture (similar to Hulu). The FT doesn’t get too specific with its reporting when it comes to the Hulu news, writing only that:

Representatives of two music companies, who would not be named, said they were in discussions with Hulu, adding that no partnership announcement was imminent but that the site appeared to be the favoured partner. “If it happens at all it will be with Hulu,” one said.

Here the bump in one party’s head fits the hole in the other. YouTube has the audience (both in size and target demographic), but hasn’t monetized those eyeballs effectively yet. Hulu can monetize its audience, but isn’t nearly as big as YouTube. The music labels have all the content, but a joint venture between those control freaks would most likely wind up being a nightmare for its creators and users.

The labels’ would be smart to put their content on Hulu. With music videos responsible for so much of its traffic, losing them would be the kick in the pants YouTube needs and provide incentive for YouTube to come up with a better way to monetize that traffic. The trick for Hulu would be adding a ton of content without junking up its interface.

  1. Sales reps for Hulu web advertising have been mentioning for a while now that there will be a music video section of Hulu available for sale in Q1’09

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  2. Notice how quickly we have forgotten MTV. Their format is so mutated beyond recognition, that no one would even think to include them in a thought much less a discussion of how to exploit music videos online. Until someone figures out how to out SEO YouTube in Google results, it doesn’t matter where you put the videos. The first place to look for a favorite music vid with 20s and tweens is YouTube. Warner can play the cease and desist all week long, but fans will just keep uploading them to the site. Better to play ball, work out a royalty agreement/rev share and use music videos for what they were intended for – promoting sales, tickets, & merch. I think Hulu works great for long form content, but the interface isn’t really designed for short attention spans the way YouTube is.

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  3. [...] Report: Hulu in Talks with Record Labels; record labels Universal, Warner, EMI and Sony negotiating to bring music videos to the premium content portal. (Bloomberg) (This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this one.) [...]

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  4. [...] have long been rumors of Hulu adding music videos to its content library. Right now the site offers musical programming [...]

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