NBC Names Its YouTube Competitor

Last Updated Aug 31, 2007 12:53 PM EDT

NBC Names Its YouTube ComptetitorNBC Inc. and News Corp. announced yesterday that they are calling their new video download site Hulu. The LA Times reports that "the site will start in a private testing format in October" and is designed "to compete with Web-based video sites such as Google Inc.'s YouTube. The site will include films and TV shows produced by the NBC and Fox TV networks and the Universal and 20th Century Fox film studios. Revenue will come from advertising and the sale of program downloads."

Bloggers on Techcrunch were quick to point out that Hulu translates to "butt" in both Indonesian and Malay and "cease" and "desist" in Swahili.

Interesting, but the this tidbit is also newsworthy for more substantive reasons. NBC is pulling its content from Apple's iTunes store. This move follows Universal Music's decision not to renew its contract with the popular site. Techdirt.com explains the reasoning behind the companies' withdrawal from iTunes:

It's no secret that the entertainment companies have been less than thrilled with the power position wielded by Apple with iTunes. They've tried -- and failed -- to force Apple to change its pricing (even though that sounds quite a lot like price fixing) and they generally seem upset that Apple is getting all the credit for revolutionizing the digital music world, while people look on the big entertainment companies as out of step with what Americans want while struggling to hang on to an antiquated business model.
If entertainment companies are genuinely concerned about looking like grumpy old men to iTunes hip, young innovator, their latest actions are likely to increase their reputation for being stodgy, old-fashioned, and uninterested in what their customers' actually want. Which isn't good news for the big entertainment companies. Of course it's not good news for Apple either, which will face a significant challenge if more companies choose not to renew their contracts. Nor is it good for consumers who are faced with a fragmented market for video downloads and who will have to spend time going to a variety of sites in search of the content they want.

(Image of grumpy, old man by oscar alexander, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.