Hulu Realizes That YouTube’s Audience Matters; Puts Its Own Videos Back On YouTube
We’ve covered the bizarre love/hate affair that NBC Universal has had with YouTube. It actually helped get YouTube its first burst of serious publicity in demanding the SNL “Lazy Sunday” clip be taken down off the site. It then went back (setting up its own YouTube channel) and forth (blaming YouTube for company problems) on whether or not it liked YouTube, before eventually announcing its own competing offering (in partnership with News Corp.) called Hulu. Soon after doing so, it pulled the official NBC channel on YouTube, which made little sense. Even if Hulu were fantastic, the actual eyeballs were at YouTube. It had built up a huge community. NBC Universal was making the classic content owner’s mistake of overvaluing the content, and undervaluing the platform. It figured that if it hosted the content itself, the crowds would come.
Apparently, that’s not what has happened. While Hulu surprised many critics with a well-designed site, it appears that Hulu hasn’t been able to generate the type of traffic executives expected. So, despite it being a YouTube competitor, Hulu has tucked its tail between its legs and set up its own channel on YouTube. Apparently, the “build it and they will come” philosophy of NBC Universal’s execs didn’t work quite as well as planned.