Good Strategy: Hulu Hits XBox While Mobile Sorts Itself Out

Last Updated Jun 7, 2010 6:40 AM EDT

As my colleague Catherine Taylor reports, several sources expect Hulu to be announced for the Microsoft XBox 360 at next week's Electronic Entertainment Expo. Critics have been squarely focused on Hulu's mobile plan (including myself), but the forgotten video game audience is a great first step beyond the traditional web.

From Andru Edwards at Gear Live:

While everyone was looking to the iPad as the device that would kick off the subscription-based paid model for Hulu, it instead looks like the Xbox 360 is going to get that honor. We've heard from a very reliable source (who has never been wrong before) that Microsoft is set to unveil Hulu as an Xbox Live service at E3 2010. Similar to how Netflix is integreated into the Xbox 360 dashboard, Hulu would be there as well, and would require a subscription fee.
Good call here. First of all, the mobile platform still isn't ideal for live streaming. The Apple iPad is limiting heavy-data programs to wi-fi, so 3G users can't take advantage of Netflix and similar programs. And, just last week, AT&T foolishly capped data plans.

Second, quiet as kept, video game systems have established themselves as the near-mythical black box. The Nintendo Wii, Microsoft XBox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 have penetrated tens of millions of homes, and currently have keyboards, Internet access, Netflix and, in the case of the PlayStation 3, one of the cheapest Blu-Ray options.

Finally, like the Apple Store, each game system has a built-in payment system -- with the user credit card. From BNet's Catherine Taylor:

Details are sketchy, but it's likely to work similarly to the Netflix streaming service on xBox, which consumers can access with an xBox LIVE Gold membership and a Netflix sub. (All told, it clocks in at slightly over $12 per month.)
In other words, home entertainment customers used to multifaceted video game systems are primed and ready for Hulu, and, at the moment, more than the mobile counterparts.

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