Hulu Solves Online Video Puzzle, Cashes In

Site has settled many questions of what works in online video
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2009 2:45 PM CST
In this screen shot taken from, an episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is shown as it is streamed on   (AP Photo/
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(Newser) – YouTube established online video as a phenomenon almost instantly. But its user-generated content and lack of quality control made advertisers reluctant to embrace it. How then, to monetize online video? Do users want to stream or download, view through web browsers or special applications? Hulu, the video site run by NBC and News Corp., has largely answered these questions, the Economist reports.

Hulu’s Jason Kilar designed the site so that “my mother would be proficient on it in 15 seconds or less, with no help from me.” The site's clean interface uses browser windows to present video—installing a separate application failed the “mom test,” Kilar explains. Most important, the site proved that streaming with advertising works better—for TV, at least—than paid downloads.