After about a week of unofficial hints and rumors, early this morning Hulu opened themselves up to the public. Anyone located within the United States can visit Hulu.com and watch high-quality TV shows, nightly highlights, full length movies, full games, and short clips. Hulu limited to a audience of private beta users since October 2007. In addition to previous studios partnerships, Hulu now features content from Warner Bros. Lionsgate, NBA, HHL, and 20 other new providers. All content is viewable right through your browser without any additional plugins or software other than Adobe Flash. And to clarify the content isn’t user uploaded content, but rather high quality shows such as Family Guy, The Office, 30 Rock, House, Heroes, 24, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
“Today, Hulu is crossing a milestone in its mission to help people find and enjoy the world’s premium content, when where and how they want it,” said Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu. “With full-length episodes of current and archived television shows, feature films, sports and news, we believe the Hulu service is a step forward in giving consumers entertainment on their terms.
In return for access to the premium content which is freely available on Hulu, viewers will be required to watch short 15 and 30 second ads a few times throughout each show. From most of the content I’ve viewed, there were only around two to three ads for a half-hour show which is a whole lot better than TV commercials. Hulu seems to be a big winner at the moment. With services such as these, the amount of illegally distributed copies of these shows should drop drastically. Due to the fact that Hulu was a joint venture between News Corp and NBC Universal, they were able to gain support from a lot of production studios which other competitors such as Joost failed to do. Plus with the freedom to embed full episodes onto any web page or social networking sites, I expect Hulu to spread faster than ever!