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The big news this morning was that Netflix has decided to split into two – Netflix will remain for the streaming business and a new site, Qwikster, will host the dvd-by-mail offering. Seems like the stock market didn’t love the move – Netflix shares dropped 7% today.
Yesterday I wrote about HTC wrapping a subway train in NYC with ads for their new tablet that allows you to use a stylus to create content.
Today I am back with another interesting advertising option for HTC. They have partnered with Hulu to offer a free trial month of the Hulu Plus service. If you go through the normal Hulu website, you are offered a free trial week of Hulu Plus but if you use this special link, you can use Hulu Plus free for a month. HTC is promoting the HTC Thunderbolt which runs on the Verizon network. From what I can gather, you don’t need an Android device to take advantage of this free trial.
While I am guessing that HTC is paying something to Hulu for this promotion, it certainly is interesting that they picked today to launch the program. Hulu Plus appears to run on many of the same devices that Netflix offers for their streaming service.
I haven’t tried Hulu Plus yet but do find it a bit odd that they charge $7.99/month for the service and yet they still show some advertising within the programming.
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.
Yesterday we took a look at how Kodak is welcoming in the new year using their video wall in Times Square. If you aren’t planning on going out into the snow tonight or are located in another city, you can still watch the ball drop to 2010 tonight in Times Square.
Hulu and Livestream have you covered with New Year’s related content from around the U.S. Hulu notes, “from approximately 10 p.m. EST to 12:15 a.m. EST, we’ll be hosting a live stream direct from Times Square as the crowd counts down to the ball drop at midnight.” It looks like Hulu will provide the same coverage they did for the welcome to 2009.
Livestream will show a variety of programming beginning at 6pm Eastern tonight from around the country. They note that you can even watch the “littlest ball drop” which is located in Aggieville, Kansas. Livestream’s coverage is also available on the iPhone.
How will you ring in 2010? Leave your geeky or non-geeky suggestions in the comments.
Back in December, comScore reported that online video site Hulu reached 235 million streams which moved them into 6th place on the top 10 online video streams list. Today comScore released their latest videos viewed list for March 2009 and Hulu has moved up to the 3rd spot with 380 million videos.
This puts Hulu right behind Google/YouTube and Fox Interactive and moves Hulu above Yahoo, Microsoft and Viacom. To put the 380 million mark in perspective, Google including YouTube videos were viewed over 5 billion times.
comScore is also reporting that for the month of March, Google/YouTube passed 100 million unique viewers. Hulu came in with 41 million viewers which puts the online video service in the 4th slot.
Other notes from comScore include: 77.8 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video and the average video length was just over 3 minutes.
Do you find yourself watching a lot of videos on Hulu? To be honest I’ve only used the service when I have missed a TV show that they offer (e.g. Lost, Chuck, etc.).
This looks like it’s going to go ten rounds people. First Boxee runs Hulu content. Then Hulu blocks Boxee. This morning Boxee launched a work-around based on RSS feeds. Now Boxee has told their users that Hulu is blocking the Boxee browser. So for now once again, it’s no Hulu content on Boxee.
Boxee co-founder Avner Ronen notes on the Boxee blog:
we just found out that Hulu blocked the boxee browser from accessing the Hulu site. this is a disappointing development since their RSS feeds are publicly available, and our browser, while optimized for a great 10 ft video experience, is no different in how it accesses this content than Internet Explorer, Firefox, Flock, Opera or any of the other browsers out there.
Boxee is down but not out – let’s see what they do next!
Update: Greg Sandoval at CBS was able to track down a Boxee employee and has some quotes regarding the service interruption.
Last month video network Hulu requested that media center Boxee remove all of the Hulu video streams. Today NY-based Boxee is announcing that they have been able to partially figure out a way around the ban/block by utilizing RSS feeds. If you download the latest Boxee release, you can import media RSS feeds which can include sources Google Video, Yahoo!, YouTube and also Hulu public feeds. Apparently it’s not as sexy as the former integration but it will get you by. You can also import media RSS feeds from any website.
Boxee staff does note that today’s release hasn’t gone through much testing so don’t moan if it turns your mac into a pc.
Boxee is also launching an "App Box" which allows for easy installation of new applications. They note that there’s also native support for 3rd party repositories so developers can send out apps without having to go through the main Boxee app library. I wonder if this is one of the ways Boxee will monetize…by charging for featuring certain apps.
Check out my video interview with Boxee co-founder Avner Ronen.
Can’t make it to Times Square this year for the New Year’s Eve bash? Don’t want to go out in what looks to be a freezing cold, blustery night? Would you rather ring in the new year on Friendfeed or Twitter? I’ve got two words for you: Mogulus and Hulu.
NY-based online video streaming provider Mogulus has setup a New Year’s Eve Times Square channel which will be live from 4pm ET tonight. They have partnered with some of the Gannett properties which will run the feed on their newspaper websites as well.
Hulu will run a live channel from Times Square beginning at 10pm ET. Hulu notes that their coverage, “will include views of Times Square and the crystal ball, plus the ambient sounds of the party as NYC winds up to count down to 2009.”
UPDATE: Check out 2010 New Year’s eve video options
Happy New Year to all of the awesome CN readers. Please be safe! 2009 looks to be a very exciting year!