- News & Analysis
- Video & Audio
- White Papers
- Industry Reports
The final session this morning explored the emergence of onlinetelevision services such as the BBC’s iPlayer and Hulu. Many of theaudience saw Hulu demonstrated for the first time and were clearlyimpressed. Hulu is now reaching around 40M users a month in the US andlooking towards international expansion for its next growthopportunity. Johannes Larcher, Hulu’s Senior Vice-President,International, indicated that the UK was clearly the first priority andthat the company “is talking to everyone”, without naming names. Hesuggested news of Hulu’s arrival in the UK would come “not too far inthe future”.
The Q&A session brought up the question of the differences inthe UK and US broadcast regulatory environments which apparentlyallowed Hulu (owned by Fox, Universal and, now, Disney) to launchwithout problems, and yet Kangaroo in the UK, a similar venture, wasblocked by the regulator.
One audience member pointed out that, although only two of the USmajors were the original partners in Hulu, and therefore had arelatively low market share, historically the US has blocked manyprevious attempts by the Hollywood studios to join forces in variousventures which involve distribution of their product. It was therefore“surprising” that Hulu has been able to go ahead, particularly withDisney now becoming a partner. It was suggested that it might only be aquestion of time before Hulu did come under the US regulatory spotlightbecause of its exclusive access to first run online content.
In the UK, meanwhile, the BBC’s Anthony Rose suggested that whatevernew services arrived in Europe, the rights issues would always becomplex and will determine success or failure. He also indicated thatProject Marquee, which will make iPlayer technologies available toother public service broadcasters, is currently being reviewed by theBBC Trust with a decision scheduled for mid-July.
Client Reading: Global Digital Media Growth Slows to 2.7% in Q4 2008