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Hulu Creates Great Marketing Widgets That Offer Little Value
NewTeeVee and Techcrunch are reporting tonight on the launch of a set of embeddable widgets from Hulu. Hulu CTO Eric Feng and Techcrunch editor Michael Arrington sat down at the Techcrunch house for an interview. During the interview, Feng discusses the launch of a set of embeddable widgets. I have enjoyed using the Hulu service since their launch – it’s also growing quite well in terms of traffic and video views.
I’ve written about widgets before, spoken on panels about widgets and believe that widgets will change the advertising landscape over the next year or so. From my perspective, the Hulu widgets provide little to no real value and I don’t see why a content publisher (blog, MySpace profile, whatever) would embed these widgets.
The "Hulu’s Show & Movie Widget" which I’ve embedded below forces a user away from the content site to Hulu to watch the video. It’s a bit odd considering they allow embedding the shows online and how Feng talks about hyper distribution as the model Hulu is striving for. I’d prefer to see the ability to view the video directly inside or that the widget expands to view the show. If Hulu could provide this type of widget, it would be a real winner for Hulu, the video viewer and the content site owner. If you take their full, non-customizable widget, it will play the video inside the widget. But anyone who will want to embed a Hulu widget into their site or blog, will want their favorite or related shows in the embed (like Michael did with the DailyShow).
On the flip side, this is a great marketing play – if they can get users to embed the widgets, the users will provide Hulu with all the free marketing they could ever want – even while providing no value to the site that embeds the widget. Feng says Hulu is open to feedback on the widgets – so there’s my feedback – make all of the widgets play inside of the widget for maximum effectiveness.