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Not just a bunch of Hulu

Lisa Napoli Mar 12, 2008


Doug Krizner: Also today: NBC and Fox will finally take the wraps off their new Internet venture. The site is called Hulu.com. You can download over 200 TV shows and movies for free. More broadcasters are said to be joining the venture as of today, too. So we asked Marketplace’s Lisa Napoli to find out how Hulu’s gonna make any money.

Lisa Napoli: Hulu.com may be a newfangled online venture with a funny name, but it’s gonna pay for itself the way broadcast TV has for years: with commercials.

University of Southern California marketing professor Ken Wilbur says though, fewer ads than you’d get on TV:

Ken Wilbur: Right now, you can watch an entire 22 minute episode of the Simpsons with just a 10-second Taco Bell sponsorship at the beginning.

How that adds up for the networks’ bottom line isn’t yet clear. But Forrester analyst James McQuivey says it’s found money for an industry that’s been running scared.

JAmes McQuivey: For broadcasters who, you know, even as recently as two years ago found themselves nervous that their television model was going to die and suddenly they’re business has been reinvigorated, all because the Internet experience is bringing new cash into their business.

And with a reported 10 billion videos watched all over the Net during December alone, the small screen on your desk could one day be as lucrative as the one in the living room.

In Los Angeles, I’m Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.

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