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Hulu Launching New Video Player, Ad Tailor and HTML 5 Update
Online video service Hulu has announced that today they are rolling out a new video player. The company has also provided an update on their usage of HTML 5. Hulu product VP, Eugene Wei, noted regarding HTML 5, “We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs. Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren’t necessarily visible to the end user. Not all video sites have these needs, but for our business these are all important and often contractual requirements.”
As for the new player, there are too many changes to go into here but suffice to say they are worth checking out on the Hulu blog. The new video player is written in Actionscript 3 and allows for adaptive bitstrate streaming. There are some new closed captioning improvements along with a visual seek bar which is VERY cool. The seek bar allows you to see a thumbnail of the content you want to move forward or backwards to. The video player is also 25% larger than the previous player.
Hulu also provided some advertising updates related to the player. The new Ad Tailor allows you to tell Hulu if an ad is relevant to you. At various times they will also run surveys related to advertising in place of ads. Wei notes, “The more efficiently we can match ads up with users, the more everyone benefits. Users see more relevant ads, and advertisers reach a more targeted and receptive audience.” If an ad is delivered via the Ad Tailor, it comes with starch and on a hanger. Just kidding…the ad will display a note that the Ad Tailor selected this advertisement for you.
Amazing to see how far Hulu has come in such a short time-frame. It was just a short while ago, many bloggers wrote the service off before it even launched.