Online video is here to stay -- but the battle for online eyeballs has only just begun. YouTube, of course, made online video popular, and its success was thoroughly viral. Like MySpace and Facebook, it became a huge hit only because people loved it, not because it had the marketing muscle of a huge corporate behemoth.
Because of that viral success there's a lot of skepticism about Hulu.com, the new joint video venture from NBC and Fox (read about Hulu here). But I think the new venture has the possibility of real success. YouTube is filled with so much junk, it's hard to find the good stuff. Hulu will be only the good stuff—select episodes of shows like the Office and 24.
That isn't to say that YouTube will somehow "lose" this battle. As we wrote in the October issue, online video has myriad uses. Businesses are using them to showcase products to customers, and for employee training, as well as marketing. YouTube and other sites, like HelloWorld, can be a major part of that. But there's no reason to diss Hulu just because it's corporate. After all, even YouTube thought going corporate wasn't such a bad idea. MySpace, YouTube, and Facebook are all affiliated with huge corporate behemoths -- News Corp., Google, and Microsoft, respectively.
What do you think? Can a site that originates at a major corporation ever compete with one that grew solely thanks to popular demand?