ClownCo is now Hulu - Update with Interview!
August 29, 2007
Breaking News: NewCo/ClownCo is now in private beta!
Check it out here. For some initial analysis click here. (Sept 19th update including NBC DIrect click here)
While there is little information on the site, below is the Hulu Hello letter from CEO Jason Kilar.
Welcome to Hulu! Our passionate and growing team here has been very hard at work on a service that we're quite excited about. We'll keep you updated with news as we go along.
The first bit of news we'd like to share is that we have a name: Hulu.
Why Hulu? Objectively, Hulu is short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and rhymes with itself. Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we're building. Our hope is that Hulu will embody our (admittedly ambitious) never-ending mission, which is to help you find and enjoy the world's premier content when, where and how you want it.
The second bit of news is that we are now accepting sign-ups at hulu.com for invitations to our web site's private beta. The Hulu private beta will be available in October. In the interest of delivering a great customer experience and making sure that we can address any feedback that comes along the way, we're going to start small and grow iteratively in terms of the volumes of people that we invite to participate in the beta. Within that same timeframe, we will also be offering great programming through our distribution partner sites: AOL, Comcast, MSN, MySpace, and Yahoo.
Ok, now it's time for all of us at Team Hulu to get back to work! Don't forget to register your email address for the upcoming private beta.
Since the announcement that broke the news around NewCo/ClownCo, Fox has certainly made a number of interesting moves in the online video space. Given Fox's strategic plays over the past few months it will certainly be interesting to see where they go with Hulu. For more on video trend analysis check this out.
And on that note - anybody know what Hulu is supposed to represent, mean or convey as a brand name? I know Jason speaks to this in the letter above, but what does this name really say to you?
It feels kind of Hawaiin to me.
For more on Mainstream Media Going 2.0 check out my posts here, here and here.
Update: Just got off the phone with Christina Lee, who is leading Strategic Communications over at Hulu. Christina, like Jason Kilar (CEO) has come over from Amazon where she worked in marketing. Prior to Amazon Christina was over at Microsoft.
While Christina exuded confidence and enthusiasm around Hulu, there really was little to report. When I asked for her visions for the Hulu and projections six months out, I heard a promising line (see big words below), and if they can truly activate against this goal, this may be a significant step in the never ending saga of mainstream media's acceptance of the web 2.0 consumer first infrastructure. In the short term, Christina reported that they are focusing on a successful October launch while six months from now they are "Aspiring to fulfill the mission of helping users and helping people find and enjoy premier content however and whenever they like it."
Bravo. It's a bold task, and the effort alone may very well be a worthwhile endeavor.
Just in case you missed the coverage, check out Om Malik's coverage here, Reuter's reports here, CenterNetworks here, Silicon Valley Insider here, Mashable here, and Drew here.