Hulu Debuts via Private Beta and on Distribution Partners AOL, Comcast, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo!Monday, October 29th, 2007
Company Announces Major Licensing Deals with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Sony Pictures Television
Providence Equity Partners Makes Strategic Investment in News Corporation/NBC Universal Online Video Joint Venture
LOS ANGELES — Hulu today announced the beta launch 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 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (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.
“We’re excited to bring a wide selection of popular content to fans, on-demand and free – from full episodes and clips of hit shows like Heroes, House, The Office, and The Simpsons, to feature films like The Blues Brothers and Sideways,” said Jason Kilar, chief executive officer of Hulu. “The launch with our distribution partners as well as our beta is an important first step in delivering a service that lets people enjoy their favorites, anytime, anywhere.”
“Consumers are clearly interested in easily accessing a broad spectrum of programming,” said Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer, News Corporation. “As a single source of free, on-demand programming from some of the most popular studios and online networks, Hulu helps consumers quickly and easily find and enjoy the premium content they are looking for.”
“NBC Universal is excited to give consumers the flexibility to enjoy our most popular shows online when, where and how they want,” said Jeff Zucker, president and chief executive officer, NBC Universal. “Hulu’s clean and crisp destination site, broad distribution network, and embeddable video player make for a powerful combination and will provide substantial reach to consumers online.”
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.
“Hulu is bringing together a wide array of premium content that will engage audiences and meet their rapidly growing demand for quality online video,” said Jonathan M. Nelson, chief executive officer of Providence. “We are pleased to partner with News Corporation, NBC Universal and Jason and his talented team to support Hulu’s growth.”
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.