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So, NBC and News Corp. launched the wonder that will become Hulu. It’s in Private beta right now and I can’t wait to get my invite.

Some have touted it as a direct assault on YouTube, others have said it’s just another service.

Though it looks like YouTube (how many different ways can you possibly present a bunch of videos on  web site) I don’t believe it’s any threat whatsoever.

If it’s threatening to anyone it’s going to hurt iTunes, maybe a little.

Personally, I think it’s an excellent idea for media giants  to pull away from housing their content on the same services as those crotch kicking user created content clips. It’s so easy for quality content (like TV shows) to get pulled down, swamped and lots in the mass of other videos.

I like the prospect of going to one (or two) sites who host the TV shows we all love to watch. As with many things it’s all a matter the service being done right.

Will the media be free?
Will it be viewable only online or will it be available for portable media devices?
How will the advertising be done (because you know there’ll be advertising)?
Will it be embeddable? (it’d be nice for show fan sites etc to put media on their sites)

However, this doesn’t bode too well for iTunes.
iTunes is making some crazy cash from TV show downloads right now.
Assuming Hulu allows users to download to portable media devices (like iPods) I believe they’d hurt the iTunes figures. If they don’t allow for such downloads it would surely make for an uncomfortable market division (and nearly certain failure)

So, keep the UC² (User Created Content) on YouTube (and the like) and put the ‘real’ media on specific sites, but please, please do it right.
‘Real’ media needs to think about users and the user experience and not just their own cause.

What do you think? Drop a comment, let me know.