Hulu Getting Ready To Go International

25 Comments

Ever since Hulu, the online-video joint venture backed by NBC, News Corp. and $100 million in private equity launched in March 2008, the service has been slowly winning over critics, including yours truly. And if that isn’t enough -– the company is rising to the top in the web video rankings.

According to Nielsen data, Hulu is now the No. 8 most popular video web site, it’s and rising fast. It was ranked No. 10 in June 2008 and was up two spots at the end of July 2008. More importantly, streams served and unique visitors increased almost 20 percent to 105 million and 3.2 million respectively. [digg=http://digg.com/tech_news/Hulu_Getting_Ready_To_Go_International]

Now imagine what would happen if Hulu’s service became available to viewers outside of the U.S. The surge in traffic could catapult the service to the top of the heap. Well, apparently, the Hulu guys are thinking along these lines and are getting ready to make an international move.

The L.A.-based company has been interviewing people for key positions to make its international move, and we hear it’s looking for director-level folks and product managers. We asked the company if it wanted to talk about its plans, but so far no reply.

There is one job listing on their site, that is advertising for an International Business Development person whose job dovetails comments made by Peter Chernin, COO of News Corp. at the Fortune BrainStorm conference. He hinted that the company would go international through a series of joint ventures in specific countries. Time to hurry up: Lack of international availability is one of the sore spots for Hulu, a fact that is bolstered by complaints from our readers who live overseas.

Meanwhile, check out my favorite Hulu clip!

http://www.hulu.com/embed/ZnDkwMPVDNCb3rjTv7ImJQ

25 Comments

SludgeHeap

I agree with Csalomonlee that the labels have nothing to fear from online streaming. I myself will watch the same episodes online for which I already own the DVD while working on the computer. Take for example Airwolf, which I watch on http://series.airwolf.tv/episodes (a great way to add value to Hulu, by the way). I watched an episode last night simply because it was more convenient than grabbing the disc off the shelf.

I disagree with Adam, however, that it’s time we had a Hulu player without all the ads. We already do – it’s called iTunes, and you can spend your money there.

Adam {United Agents)

Hu do I talk to at Hulu about handling Hulu’s interests in the H-UK and H-Europe?

Isn’t it time we had an online HBO, ad-free, quality content, vod service, sort of Hulu/iPlayer/Joost but without all the ad crap?

Hell, I’d pay.

Kevin C. Tofel

If I were Hulu, I’d be working with all of the various netbook vendors, i.e.: Acer, Asus, Lenovo, MSI, Dell, etc.. Why? These small notebooks run Hulu very well on the 8.9- and 10-inch displays, making them very portable little content consumption devices. The older Intel Celeron and new Intel Atom chipsets handle the video great unless you try to go full-screen or 480p. Hulu would do well to get a shortcut to their site on the netbooks IMO… paired with international support, it would potentially get their user base go quickly grow exponentially.

HmmConvenient

I’m willing to be that Hulu’s international aspirations will include a limited subset of US content (as per their rights) but will mostly be made up of niche content from particular regions. Unless Hulu has solved the fundamental issues in the industry (rights, licensing, etc) they will be challenged to bring most of their content to international eyes.

http://hmmconvenient.blogspot.com

Farhan Lalji

The smart folks are already working around the international issues with vpns and shields. makes good business sense for them to open it up to outside the US.

Brandon Watts

Hulu is fantastic, and I think it only makes sense that they think internationally. It’s the one service that has convinced me to watch certain television shows on my computer instead of my TV.

Csalomonlee

Now only if more recent seasons were available. I understand the need to keep DVD sales/rental revenue going, but we’re already seeing that online doesn’t cannibalize. It augments.

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