Peer Review: Critics praise hulu, demand more content

hulu, the NBC Universal and FOX-owned website that offers ad-supported movies and network TV shows, launched to the public this week. We should first note that NBC Universal also owns DVICE: in December we even gave out logins for the website's beta trial. But we're not here to talk about our views about hulu, we'll leave that to the critics. And when it came reviewing hulu, all the pundits had similar convictions. They thought that hulu beats out the TV networks' websites as a place to watch content. And critics loved the site's simplicity, it's short ads, and that it lets users crop and embed clips on their own websites.

On the other hand, everyone agreed that if it's to succeed, hulu will need a lot more content. For many popular shows like House and Battlestar Galactica, the site only has a handful of episodes. For others, the networks have only been willing to put up clips: hulu doesn't have a full length show from Project Runway, Saturday Night Live, or any of the Law & Order series. Finally, some critics bristled at the fact that you can't download content to take it with you on your iPod or on an airplane.

More thoughts on hulu from critics after the jump.

Embedding + Arrested Development = hurrah!
"Sure, there's Joost, but Hulu integrates seamlessly with things like Tumblr, allowing you to post embedded clips from The Simpsons and Arrested Development (hooray!) with a few clicks. And the fact that you choose which portion of the clip gets embedded makes Hulu all that much more fun to mess around with." Time Out

Needs more content if it's going to keep people from BitTorrent
"People can tell the difference between something designed only to tease and promote broadcast TV and DVD sales and something designed to be an actual entertainment destination. If you keep it gimped it's only ever going to be seen as the former, studios. Don't blow it." , Gizmodo

Too many clips, too few full-length shows
"Shows advertised as being on there, like Damages, aren't. Others hyped are only available in clip form. Special Victims Unit, for example. Ah, the ol bait and switch! And the clips? Clips are everywhere. Who cares about clips for a tv drama?" , Newsday

It will never replace YouTube
"It's not quite right to call hulu a YouTube killer since its concept of community and content is much different and much more controlled. Unlike YouTube, you can't upload video to hulu." , Hey Nielsen

Easy and guilt-free
"It's easier to use than rival Joost (which makes users download software), presents works by their copyright holders (guilt-, Torrent- and rationalizing-free viewing!) and provides a simple interface." , Wired

Its simple pages make it Gen-Y friendly
"Hulu's simple pages are unencumbered by advertising… So far, Hulu has faced criticism for its comparatively slim selection of content, while much of the press attention has focused on its media-industry impact. But Hulu's killer app may just be that its Gen-Y design allows a seamless connection with its audience." , Business Week

Good platform, thin offerings

"It's better than anything we've seen to date when it comes to the Old Media and the Web. The offerings are still a little thin, the inventory of content still comparatively shallow, but the structure is good." , ABC News

"Hulu’s a remarkable web service despite its numerous shortcomings (no downloads, a limited collection of shows and movies, and no international access to name a few)." , Tech Crunch

"I am very impressed with its design and ease of use, and with the fact that it allows users to edit and re-publish its content on their own sites… But Hulu also has some major downsides. Most important, Hulu lacks depth. Even with TV series from its owners’ own networks, Hulu typically contains only a small number of full-length episodes." , All Things D


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