NBC/Fox video partnership announces new name

Sure, it’s a week late, but WTF everyone deserves a break for Labor Day. NBC and FOX announced the name of their new video site, Hulu. Huh. Hula? Nope. Hulu. As Techcrunch points out, it has some, um, interesting meanings in other languages. For example, in Indonesian it means “butt”. Same with Malay. Sure, it also means to “stop doing something”, which is what we all do when we’re watching clips on YouTube, but isn’t that what we’re doing when we watch regular TV too? Sounds like someone wants to have their cake and eat it too.

CEO Jason Kilar says of the name:

Why Hulu? Objectively, Hulu is short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and rhymes with itself. Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we’re building. Our hope is that Hulu will embody our (admittedly ambitious) never-ending mission, which is to help you find and enjoy the world’s premier content when, where and how you want it.

I think the same is weak, to be honest. They clearly don’t get the equation or fun of YouTube, which is content creation by amateurs. And our friend John Moore’s post sums up the 5 reasons why YouTube was a success:

  1. Do Something Better: Find a way or a better way…
  2. Believe in What You Do: Success is a by-product of doing good.
  3. Community is Everything: Listen to your community.
  4. Be Soulful: Even if you sell, like Flickr, don’t sell your soul.
  5. Be Authentic: The lack of corporate polish adds to the feeling that there are real people behind the idea.

Can Hulu beat YouTube at those five things? I doubt it, considering they’ve already violated #4 ($100MM in funding means eventually they’ll come calling with “We wants our money, bitch!”) and #5 (Hi, we’re a web 2.0 startup – just look at our Arial Rounded logo and gradient background!).

I think the recent announcement by YouTube to start using video overlays are going to help open the door for Hulu and other video sites, because, and I’ll say it again – PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE ADS.

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