WB: Ad-Supported Hulu Not Ready for Movies

Despite the fact that the Digital Living Room organizers are in dire need of a digital clock (all the panels were delayed by a half hour after the opening presentation went long), the fireside conversation between Jim Wuthrich, Warner Bros. senior vice president, electronic sell-through and interactive marketing with AllThingsD‘s Kara Swisher on Tuesday had a few nuggets worth sharing.

Here’s what Wuthrich had to say about the lack of full-length movies on Hulu:

You’ll see our TV shows there, but we don’t have our movies on there. For ad supported to work you need a lot of people to look at it. So for the most part its too early to have movies in that model. But TV is OK. [Hulu]’s a more elegant solution than network solutions in the past. It’s promotional, we get people into shows they might not have watched on TV, and may get them to buy DVDs.

Wuthrich also pointed out a looming problem for the digital content industry — finding what you want to watch. Warner Bros. has a catalog of 6,600 films, only 1,500 of which are currently available on DVD. He said Vudu had a good way to navigate content, but would be hamstrung by the fact that people don’t want to spend $300 on a dedicated set top box for movies.

Swisher brought up the WB’s sister company AOL’s recent acquisition of Bebo, and the role of original content production like KateModern. Wuthrich talked about the two divisions within Warner Bros. that work on web entertainment, but said the business model still isn’t there, and that web content doesn’t make enough money yet.

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