Analysis by Daisy Whitney*
Senior Producer, Beet.TV

Today’s Hulu-Disney partnership raises the question of whether Hulu and YouTube are engaged in a head-on battle for eyeballs and advertising.

At first blush, the deal that calls for Disney to become an equity partner in Hulu along with NBC and Fox suggests that Hulu is winning the race for premium content since it now adds ABC to the fold. That will surely help Hulu win more ad dollars especially because there is little overlap between the and audiences, ABC pointed out. ABC said only 8 percent of users visit Hulu, while just 13 percent of Hulu users visit regularly, according to comScore. Both sites are likely to grow visitors and advertisers as a result of the tie-up. (Incidentally, Hulu could use the help since the site’s been full of public service announcements recently in lieu of many paid ads.)

The deal with Disney also keeps full-length ABC and other Disney shows off of YouTube for the near term, according to sources close to the deal. That means while YouTube gets to run short-form videos from Disney per the deal Disney and YouTube struck in late March, the video giant can’t run full episodes from Disney programming for some time.

So who wins? Clearly, Hulu scored big today. But let’s not forget that while Yahoo dominates in the sexier display ads market online, Google found a way to the monetize the long tail of the Web with search ads to the tune of billions of dollars and a dominant position in the all-important search business. Whether Google can pull off the same with YouTube – find a way to make money on the oodles of independent and user-generated content on its site – remains to be seen. But don’t count YouTube out.


Earlier this year at SXSW, Beet.TV inteviewed Hulu CTO Eric Feng. We have republished the interview today. For more perspective on the news, check out Chris Albrecht at NewTeeVee.  And, here's the report in Friday's New York Times by Brian Stelter and Brad Stone.

*Welcome Daisy!

Daisy I am delighted that Daisy has joined Beet.TV as Senior Producer  She will be producing and blogging video segments several times a week.  She is such a pro and keen chronicler of the space — and she is really good on television!  More to come about Daisy.  

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer and Founder