Hulu Success Shows UGC Limits

picture-61I’ve long maintained that YouTube’s early success was at least as much driven by pirated clips and professional content as the UGC material (coke + mentos, star wars kid, cats and lip sync videos). In addition, in my opinion, most of the UGC material becomes boring after awhile if it’s not leavened by the professional content. The perfect video site contains both. And recently YouTube has been trying to incorporate more professionally produced content.  They know they must to remain on top long term.

Evidence of this is the rising popularity of Hulu, the NBC-News Corp joint venture that has defied early skeptics to become the number 2 video site:


Hulu has also done a better job of monetization than YouTube.


Related: Hulu is introducing social networking (Hulu Friends). Here’s more from USA Today and the WSJ.

3 Responses to “Hulu Success Shows UGC Limits”

  1. Davis Freeberg Says:

    You must be crazy. How can you claim that Hulu demonstrates UGC’s limits when YouTube is attracting almost 20 times as many visitors? I also think that you’re misinterpreting the content that consumers are actually watching on the site. YouTube is very unfriendly towards copyrighted material, other sites I could see you making this argument, but YouTube has cooperated too much with the content owners for you to suggest that their success has anything to do with the talent in Hollywood.

    As someone who understands how the internet has changed the concept of local, I would have expected you to appreciated the advantage of long tail content on the site. There’s no doubt that YouTube gets a lot of junk, but the ability to personalize the artists you’re interested in, gives users a way to see some pretty high quality content that has nothing to do with Hollywood. In comparing my YouTube account to my list of season passes on TiVo, I probably have 2 – 3 times more “professionally” created shows on YouTube. These don’t have the same budgets as what gets shown on TV, but because they are tailored to my “virtual local” needs, they can be far more enjoyable. If you don’t watch YouTube regularly, you should at least check out some of the amazing talent on there before making up your mind.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Why has Hulu gained and now exceeds Yahoo’s video reach?

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    When I use the term “professional” I use it somewhat loosely to mean content that has greater thought and production values behind it than the majority of YouTube content.

    Professional doesn’t automatically mean hollywood.

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