HULU: Nice platform, but…

I spent a part of the day playing with HULU and can honestly say it’s an enjoyable experience. Whether choosing a clip from Saturday Night Live or watching an episode of House, everything about the site works really well. It was nice to watch a 44-minute episode of House in, well, 45 minutes with “limited interruption” from one sponsor (15 second ads). One wonders, of course, if that won’t change, assuming popularity increases.

One thing — and it’s a little thing, I’ll admit — really bothered me. The image below is the player during an ad. Note the language at the top that I’ve circled. In players from start-ups created in Silicon Valley, this same information is communicated with a simple countdown clock. With HULU (and one expects those from other mainstream media companies) it’s all spelled out. In my view, this is typical broadcast thinking, where the audience is too stupid to intuitively figure it out for themselves. Imagine how annoying this will be after months or years of use. Perhaps then, they’ll change it. Along the same lines, when you choose the full screen mode, the player notifies you to hit “escape” to get back to the skin. Um, does that really need saying in this day and age? Less is more.

The Hulu Player

Overall, though, this is a great site for viewing media clips. The user experience is excellent, and it could become THE go-to site for this, if only the other networks would all come aboard. Will that happen? I say eventually yes, because it makes business sense to put all of these types of programming in one place.

HULU is still in Beta with invitation-only access, but it’s expected to go public this spring.

Comments

  1. Hulu is an NBC/Uni property. Don’t expect the other nets will want to join, but they will want to emulate.

  2. Along the same lines, when you choose the full screen mode, the player notifies you to hit “escape” to get back to the skin. Um, does that really need saying in this day and age? Less is more.

    The “press escape” message is coming from Flash itself, not from the programming of the player, so I believe your beef with the message lies with Adobe, not with the programmers behind Hulu.

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