Hulu: the hating game

NBCU gave everyone plenty of time to store up the hate for the newly named Hulu. So let the games begin.

From Techcrunch:

“Congratulations are in order to YouTube-competitor Hulu, which took just five months to come up with a name after announcing itself in March. CEO Jason Kilar says the name “captures the spirit of the service we’re building” in an open letter published today.

Just don’t translate that name to certain languages, because the name may capture significantly more of the spirit of the service than NBC and News Corp., the media giants behind Hulu, intended.

Given the litigious nature of online video, that is some serious irony. And you can bet that Hulu, and its parent companies NBC and News Corp., are going to be sending out one heck of a lot of cease and desist letters as soon as this thing launches.”

From Silicon Valley Insider:

“For anyone keeping track, that means the venture now has a $100 million investment from Providence Equity, a $1 billion valuation, a CEO and a name. Great! Only a few more hurdles left! Hulu still has to deal with the fact that it:

  • hasn’t launched
  • has 120 employees and a big burn rate (call it $10 million a year)
  • has a deeply entrenched, globally dominant competitor
  • is two years too late
  • has been shunned by the other big dogs in the industry (CBS, Disney, Viacom)
  • is a joint venture between two companies that hate each other.”

From Terry Heaton:

“This portal has been so hyped as God’s gift to online video that any name they came up with would likely have bombed, especially with the tech community — which includes the people who’ve written the book on online video without the “help” of the networks or studios. Old media just doesn’t get that new media isn’t created in a board room with fancy consultants (oh shit, I’m a consultant!), because the results are usually just varnished horse crap. Hulu?

The problem is that the fuss over the stupid name casts a pall on what is really a smart move by NBC and Fox, namely creating a single portal for video instead of asking people to come to each branded site. Of course, it would be better if all networks were a part of this, and I think announcing the project without a name or a more complete partner list was a huge tactical error.”

From Steve Sarfran: (Lost Remote)

“Three stages in newly named web product:

1. Everyone hates it, makes fun of it
2. People slowly adopt it, forget that they hated it
3. People start to use it either as a verb (”Google that”) or in comparison to inferior products (”It’s no flickr.”)”

About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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