launches beta of its online video service, offering viewers a vast selection of streaming, on-demand, premium programming on a free, ad-supported basis. Hulu content includes full-length current and archived television programming as well as clips and an initial selection of feature films.
Hulu announced it has signed licensing deals with MGM and Sony Pictures Television, marking a major milestone in its mission to bring consumers the most comprehensive selection of premium video content online. A collection of over 40 television shows from Sony will be made available at Hulu.com, while full-length television shows and feature films from MGM will be available through the Hulu service. Hulu will also offer content from two leading broadcast networks (Fox and NBC), over 15 cable networks (Bravo, E! Entertainment, FX, Sci Fi, USA, and more), four of the largest Studios (Fox, MGM, Sony and Universal) and a broad array of independent, web-centric content providers. In addition, Hulu announced content partnerships with such leading programmers as Reveille, Smithsonian Networks, and World Wrestling Entertainment.
Hulu also announced it has closed a $100 million investment from private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, the leading global private equity firm specializing in media, entertainment, communications and information companies.
While Hulu.com is debuting in private beta, consumers will be able to also visit Hulu’s vast network of distribution partner websites: AOL, Comcast's Fancast.com, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo! to enjoy the extensive library of premium long-form and clip content. Together, these companies represent some of the most visited web destinations, bringing content to consumers where they are already spending much of their time. Each distribution partner features a unique, customized video player, ensuring a seamless viewing experience on all of their sites. Additionally, users can embed videos throughout the web, including their own site, in order to further extend distribution.
Hulu has partnered with a strong lineup of content providers including Bravo, CNET, Comedy Time, E! Entertainment Television, Ford Models, Fox Atomic, Fox Reality, FX Networks, FUEL TV, G4, Golf Channel, IGN, Movieola, National Geographic, Oxygen, SPEED, Sundance Channel, Sci Fi Network, The Fight Network, The Style Network, X17 Online, USA Network, Versus and more.
Dedicated to providing users with an enhanced online video experience, Hulu.com offers an elegant interface that makes content the central focus. At the same time, innovative features allow users to enjoy, share, and embed videos in new and exciting ways. The beta period will give users an opportunity to test the service and provide valuable feedback which will help to shape the Hulu service.
To sign up for the private beta, viewers can go to http://www.hulu.com