Hulu is planning a major push into original content. The video hub—long a destination for TV and movie content on the Web—is looking to expand beyond its present audience, and perhaps protect itself against a possible partner defection down the road.
In addition, Adweek has learned that the site is close to unveiling a major integration with Facebook, aimed at encouraging more people to share what they are watching on Hulu with their friends.
The site, a joint venture among NBCUniversal, News Corp. and Disney, has been quietly building out two separate content divisions. One is focused on branded entertainment; the other is aimed at developing original entertainment series, with a focus on niche comedy and documentaries. Several digital marketing agencies are developing original Hulu projects, including Great Works America.
Hulu’s most popular content has always been network shows like Fox’s Family Guy, and NBC’s Saturday Night Live and The Office. However, the site claims over 260 content partners, including many Web-only producers. What’s different of late is that high-profile content creators have begun producing content either specifically for Hulu or are establishing exclusive first-distribution windows with the joint venture.
Last week, Lionsgate debuted the animated comedy Trailer Trash on Hulu. This month Kiefer Sutherland
, in conjunction with Digital Broadcasting Group, will premiere the Hulu-exclusive The Confession
(he created and stars in the action series).
So does all this development activity mean Hulu is reinventing itself for the day when one of its top network partners (say, perhaps, Comcast’s NBC) pulls its content?