Hulu is now the third most popular video site on the 'net (after YouTube and Fox Interactive Media) and arguably a force to be reckoned with. Unlike YouTube, Hulu has the potential to take television fans away from their television sets entirely, and ABC/Disney totally noticed. The New York Times reported that ABC Enterprises, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, announced yesterday that it would join NBC Universal, Fox, and countless cable networks in making its shows available on Hulu.com
That means you can expect to see full-length episodes of ABC primetime programs like Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Samantha Who?, Scrubs, Private Practice and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, along with popular Disney Channel shows like Wizards of Waverly Place and Phineas and Ferb, pluspopular library titles from The Walt Disney Studios—all for free on your Web-connected computer.
We know what you're thinking: "But, all of ABC's shows are already available on ABC.com!" Yes, true. But the president of ABC-Disney Television group admits that the only people who go online to ABC.com to watch shows are already avid fans. By allowing their content on Hulu, ABC/Disney can hope to add to their audience with some of Hulu.com's 42 million visitors a month.
This whole thing kinda sucks for YouTube. It was trying to get an exclusive deal with Disney, but apparently it's a no-go because "advertisers have made it clear that they want a safe environment unpolluted by videos of cats on skateboards" (That's NBC Universal's prez, Jeff Sucker, talking to the NY Times). Ouch.
ABC's deal with Hulu also means that CBS is the last major network not allowing their content on Hulu. C'mon, CBS, can we get some How I Met Your Mother on Hulu, please?