Hulu is a website that offers commercial-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies from NBC, Fox, ABC and many other networks and studios. Hulu is currently only offered to users in the United States.[1] Hulu provides video in Flash Video format, including many films and shows that are available in 360p and 480p. Hulu also provides web syndication services for other websites including AOL, MSN, MySpace, Facebook, and Yahoo!


Hulu is a joint venture of NBC Universal (GE), Fox Entertainment Group (News Corp) and ABC Inc. (The Walt Disney Company) with funding by Providence Equity Partners, which made a $100 million equity investment and holds a 10% stake. The Hulu venture was announced in March 2007 with AOL, MSN, Facebook, and Yahoo! planned as "initial distribution partners."[2] Jason Kilar was named the CEO in June. The name Hulu was chosen in late August 2007, when the website went live, with an announcement only and no content. It invited users to leave their email addresses to be informed about the upcoming beta test.[3] In October, Hulu began the private beta testing by invitation, and later allowed users to invite friends.[4] Hulu launched for public access in the United States on March 12, 2008.[5]

On April 30, 2009, Disney made the announcement that it would join the venture, purchasing a 27% stake in Hulu.[6]

Hulu distributes video both on its own website and syndicates its hosting to other sites,[7] and allows users to embed Hulu clips on their own websites.[5] In addition to NBC, ABC and FOX programs and movies, Hulu carries shows from other networks such as Comedy Central, Current TV, PBS, USA Network, Bravo, Fuel TV, FX, Speed, Big Ten Network, Syfy, Style, Sundance, E!, G4, Versus, A&E, and Oxygen.

Hulu has released a beta version of Hulu Desktop, a standalone program that allows users to watch Hulu programming without using their web browser. The program uses a 10-foot user interface and is designed to be compatible with existing computer remote controls. It requires a Flash player and runs on Windows, Linux, and OS X.[8]

Hulu has changed the way people watch their favorite TV shows. It has made it possible for people who don’t have time to catch shows when they originally air on broadcast television to log on and watch them when it’s convenient for them. Hulu has already changed and will continue to change the future of television and the way people watch it.


Sources:
[1] http://www.hulu.com/support/geofilter
[2] http://www.hulu.com/about
[3] http://www.thestreet.com/s/googles-new-foe-hulu/newsanalysis/mediaentertainment/10376991.html
[4] http://www.hulu.com/press/private_beta.html
[5] http://www.hulu.com/press/launch_press_release.html
[6] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/30/AR2009043001853.html
[7]http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120519822483125987.html?mod=technology_main_promo_left
[8] http://www.hulu.com/labs/hulu-desktop