The Valley is finally taking the competition between Hulu and YouTube seriously. Our home town rag, the San Jose Mercury News ran a pretty decent story the other day summarizing the key developments.
In a nutshell: YouTube has the page hits but Hulu has the professional content and content is king, right?
As the Merc puts it:
Hulu has shown that users will tolerate video ads — at least if they are paired with the right content — and are interested in watching longer-form videos on the Web, said Graham Bennett, YouTube’s strategic partner manager.
But YouTube has a small fraction of the full-length, professionally produced content that consumers can find on Hulu. Even if YouTube can broaden its selection, it may have trouble luring consumers because many now think of the site as the place to get user-produced videos, noted Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, a consulting firm. For Hollywood-produced ones, they’re turning to Hulu.
“When your brand is so deeply entrenched in that kind of milieu, it’s real hard to turn around,” Passikoff said.
That doesn’t mean the fight’s over. The online video market is still a nascent one, and neither YouTube nor Hulu has everything viewers or advertisers want.
This makes the recently concluded negotiations between Hollywood and the major entertainment conglomerates so important. The new contracts establish union jurisdiction for the online world for the first time. Hulu isn’t making much money yet but it likely will as time goes on and that will money in the pockets of actors, writers, directors and crew who make the content possible.