Hulu: The Successful Copyright Licensing Model


On Sept. 28, 2009, comScore released August 2009 online video visit statistics from the comScore Video Metrix service, showing that the online video visit volume exceeded 25 billion in August, the largest number ever recorded. Google accounted for more than 10 billion visits during the month, while Hulu nailed fourth place with 488 million.

Since there is a large difference in the statistics between Google and Hulu, one might turn up one's nose at Hulu. However, if we look closely, we find that Google has a great deal of experience in the internet, while Hulu just celebrated its 2nd birthday. Moreover, 99% of the videos viewed are from Youtube, which owns mainly UGC (User Generated Content) videos. In contrast, the videos Hulu provides are mainly legal copies of commercial videos. Youtube is in large-scale but loss-making, while Hulu is much smaller but profitable. As Economist described, Youtube proved that users would like to watch videos via the Internet, and Hulu proved that advertisers would like to pay for the online videos.

How could the newly established website raise so many concerns from the internet industry? The answer: A successful copyright licensing model.

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