Hulu, purported 'YouTube killer' to show Heroes and 24 for free, and legally

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hula-hoop.jpgKiller this, killer that, blah blah blah, this site will kill off that site…aren’t we all getting a bit sick of these murderous new sites and products? Still, it’s Halloween, so a good time to report on a potential YouTube ‘killer’, Hulu.

From today, the site being backed by NBC Universal and News Corp., will begin a private beta, featuring content from Sony Pictures Television, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. When it fully launches, it’ll be free to viewers, with revenue being made through advertising on the 90-odd TV shows. Big-name shows such as Heroes, House, 24 and The Simpsons will be featured alongside retro throw-backs like Miami Vice and The A-Team, as well as films including The Breakfast Club and The Blues Brothers, all in wide-screen format.

Surprisingly, the site allows users to embed not just the whole video onto their blogs or sites but short clips of it too, to their liking – therefore spreading content easily, content which would never see the light of day on YouTube due to copyright issues.

You’re right in remembering that NBC Universal had a previous deal with iTunes, selling their shows through the service, and even had its own channel on YouTube. Due to their partnership on Hulu with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., they’ve canned these completely, instead focussing 100% on Hulu.

It all sounds too good to be true, really. Up until now, if you really wanted to watch Heroes online, you could find them through avenues such as Watch TV Sitcoms, however the quality has always been hit and miss. Being able to view prime-time shows legally, and for free, might just be the catalyst for the move from BitTorrent to legal live-stream services like Hulu, Joost and Babelgum TV. Oh noes, it’s happened – I’m being seduced by legal internet services!

Hulu (via 14U News)

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Katherine Hannaford