In 2011 Hulu is mixing things up a bit. In addition to offering popular television show episodes, films and online video content from TED and other sources, Hulu is entering the original content arena, launching a couple of brand new original Web series.
According to Mediaweek, the online video site “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.”
One of the first of Hulu’s original Web series, Trailer Trash, premiered earlier this month exclusively on Hulu. According to creator Todd Goldman, this animated series is “a squirrel munchin’ good time, more fun than watching a three-legged catfish on a broken ferris wheel!” The series is about four trailer trash rednecks named Billy Bob, Cooter, Light Beer and Peggy Sue. The rednecks watch movie trailers, in front of their trailer in a trailer park. So far five episodes have been released. You can watch the latest below, or watch them all on Hulu.
Later this month, Hulu is set to present another exclusive series called The Confession. Kiefer Sutherland both created and stars in this action series, which is set to premier on March 28, according to the Hulu website. You can check out an interview with Sutherland about the series below.
Earlier this year, Hulu also announced The Morning After, a daily pop culture “snack” that keeps viewers up to date on the latest gossip and news in entertainment. Check out the latest episode below.
So why is Hulu starting to roll out all of this new original content? Mike Shields of Mediaweek suggests that they Hulu is “looking to expand beyond its present audience, and perhaps protect itself against a possible partner defecation down the road.” He asks, “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?”
I think Shields presents an interesting question. Of course, I don’t think that a couple of series would save them if, say, Comcast pulled their content. However, it is important for Hulu to start adding a little extra oomph to their offering in order to expand their audience and keep their current audience happy. Serialized content has proven to do well on YouTube, Blip.tv and other video sites, and I think Hulu has seen this and is looking to cash in on original content as well.
What do you think about Hulu’s new original series? Will you tune in to watch exclusive Hulu content, or are you still just there for the television shows?