Hulu: thin on content, high on usability

11 11 2007

Online Video Watch gives its verdict on the Hulu private beta over in this post. The service scores highly for ease-of-use and discoverability of content, but poorly for the extent of the content offer itself.

However, that may be about to change, says the Hollywood Reporter, revealing that Warner Brothers Television is in discussions with Hulu, which will likely see a selection of its catalogue added alongside that from Sony and MGM, as well as Hulu co-founders NewsCorp. (Fox) and NBC Universal.

In related news, paidContent offers a pretty blunt assessment of NBCDirect.com, a new TV downloads service which offers content for seven days from broadcast and viewing for 48 hours once first played.





Yahoo! overhauls online video

3 08 2007

Yahoo! is to revamp video across its site by year end, say Bloomberg. Music videos, movie trailers, television shows and sports highlights are among the features that will be available on the new site, in a move aimed at attracting more video-hungry users to Yahoo!

Currently Yahoo! share of online video traffic in the U.S. is just 4.6% (vs. Google/YouTube accounting for 21.6% and Fox/MySpace taking 8.1% of traffic).

This Bear Sterns briefing note on Yahoo!, suggests the company focus its activity on social networks, in order to build site stickiness. It also notes that social networks now account for 60% of global online traffic.





U.S. network TV pilots leaked online

31 07 2007

reaper.jpg

Pilot episodes of fall season series from NBC, ABC, Fox and the CW have leaked onto the file-sharing networks, according to this report in TV Week.

NBC’s The Bionic Woman, ABC’s Pushing Daisies, The CW’s Reaper and Fox’s The Terminator spin-off The Sarah Connors Chronicles are among series which have shown up in the search engines of p2p file-sharing services such as TorrentSpy, The Pirate Bay and Mininova.





Fox, MySpace raise the game on web video

27 07 2007

Fox_logoMySpace_logo

MySpace and US broadcast net Fox have teamed with The Producers Guild of America for ‘The Storyteller Challenge’, a scheme which is billed to give up-and-coming filmmakers their own showcase on MySpace plus, for the best two entries, US $25K and development deal with Fox.

As posted previously, this mirrors a similar move by Sony’s newly re-christened social network Crackle.

Depending on which way you want to see it, it’s either a deeply cynical ploy by all concerned to squeeze more for less out of aspiring filmmakers, or a democratisation of opportunity for the next gen of talent.

In any event, the aim to raise the bar of their respective offers with more polished content can’t be entirely unrelated to a couple of recent pieces of research, such as this week’s Pew/Internet Online Video study, which indicate growing consumer preference for professionally-produced (vs. ‘amateur’) content. It’s also interesting to witness further evidence of the trend for the best produced-for-web content having the potential to make the leap on to TV.