NBC's iTunes Alternative Launches Private Beta

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    NBC and Universal's joint venture Hulu.com has launched in private beta. The new video service will feature premium video content delivered over a Flash-based web interface, and is already being syndicated to sites such as video.aol.com. First impressions have been positive, and Hulu allows you to embed content into other websites. As a private beta, access to the site appears to be limited, but the embeded player allows you to browse other content.

    At present it appears the content is ad-supported, with very short ads playing at designated times during playback. Ads are noted on the timeline as small dots.

    An entire episode of The Office is embedded below, but the player reportedly does not work outside the U.S:

    visit Article Link for video content

    In August, NBC pulled their television content from the iTunes store due to disagreements in pricing structure.

    Article Link
  2. macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    It will be interesting to see how acceptance for ad-supported viewing goes. The more models there are out there for consumers to choose amongst, the better.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Martin C

    Nov 5, 2006
    New York City
    The only thing I appreciate about this is the free Office content.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2007

    Does this thing cost money. I f it does, its not as good as iTunes, because it can't be on an iPod!!
  5. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    the ads are very short and pretty unobstrusive. Obviosuly, the big limitation is you can't watch it on your iPod or whatever.

    It appears to be ad-supported (ie. free)

  6. macrumors member

    May 23, 2006
    I can confirm it doesn't work outside the US, well it doesn't in the UK anyway, screenshot below...
  7. macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

    Feb 4, 2007
    CANADA? eh?
    doesnt work in Canada at all! stupid iP!
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2003
    In the Bowels of the Cosmos
    The player seems to run much better than NBC's own site. My interest has increased to discover more about this.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    Ads on nbc.com episode videos are extremely annoying, and the video player takes up a ton of CPU. If this player is not an improvement, most will continue to just pirate higher res, ad-free versions that are freely available.
  10. macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    Now all we need is Flash support on the iPhone so we can watch these on the go.

    Oh, wait, that'll probably not be high on Apple's to-do list now.
  11. macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    I love the Office, and since I haven't been at home for the last 2 episodes, I've been having to watch it on NBC.com, for free. Unfortunately, the whole experience is terrible, and I'd give anything to get episodes back for a mere $2. The whole NBC online interface is clunky, the same ads play constantly, and it's just a worse product. Bring it back to iTunes NBC, I'm no longer going onto your ***tty site.
  12. macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2007
    *sigh* yet another service, not available outside of the US - at least with iTunes you could use US vouchers...
  13. Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    Meh... I have to watch it on my computer. The thing about :apple:TV that I like is that I can watch stuff on my ::gasp:: TV.

    I think that's the number one reason why at least I will never get into these studio-run sites. On the other hand, I do hope Apple is working on a studio-acceptable method to keep the video content flowing for iTunes.
  14. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Did you try the embedded content above?

  15. macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2004
    New York, NY
    NBC complained that they only made $15 million from iTunes sales. But sales for permanent ownership and iPod/iPhone transfer are completely different than an online streaming player. Can't they see that?

    $15 million may not be a ton, but it is > $0. Hulu would just take away users of NBC.com's own flash player, no? So Hulu and iTunes could coexist and maximize profits for NBC.

    I fail to understand the strategy behind this.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2006
    In the case of music iTunes provides a valuable aggregating service. There are thousands of artists and if they all ran their own websites it would be untenable.

    But there are only a few major TV studios, and except for iPod compatibility I don't see why they really need Apple. Maybe in future iTunes could become a home for indie content, but really they have YouTube already.
  17. macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2007
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada


    "Unfortunately this video is not currently available in your country or region. We apologize for the inconvenience"

    I wanted to watch a free episode of The Office.

    How does NBC expect people to watch this when they block us from seeing it in the first place?

    No love for Canada.:mad:
  18. macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    NBC is hoping it will make more money with the ad supported stuff than ad-free iTunes.
    This whole debacle is due to advertisers.You can thank good old fashioned greed-based capitalism.
  19. macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2006
    I am fine with office for free with ads.

    I never buy movies off iTunes.

    I have a DVR so I watch all the office episodes thursday nights and whenever I want. But I would rather save $2 for spending one minute of my time watching a commercial.

    Only thing is the iPod thing.

    Well competition is only good. Maybe iTunes will offer ad based free shows for download. Or NBC will offer quicktime versions to download with ads.
  20. macrumors member

    May 27, 2004
    ew. advertisements. I disagree that they are inobtrusive. Just because they are short doesn't make them any less annoying. Hideous.
    Much better quality than youtube, though. That's a nice thing. :)
  21. macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2004
    New York, NY
    Right, but if there were (for illustrative purposes) 10 million users of ad-supported NBC.com and 1 million buyers on iTunes before.... then now wouldn't there be 10 million users of ad-supported Hulu and 0 buyers on iTunes?

    NBC seems to think that former iTunes buyers will all move to Hulu, thereby increasing page views for higher ad rates. But those 1 million iTunes buyers already had the option of ad-supported content on NBC.com. Say 500K of those iTunes buyers already used NBC.com in conjunction with iTunes purchases, and the other 500K were not interested in streaming flash ad-supported content. Then there would be a net increase of 0 users of their streaming content. If iTunes users can't find content on iTunes, and they were interested in a streaming alternative, they ALREADY HAD ONE.

    Therefore it seems to me that NBC just threw profit away for little to no reason. However, one could counter that the entire point of the removal from iTunes was to create publicity for Hulu. So if their projected net increase due to publicity is > $15 million, then I think we know the REAL reason they pulled out of iTunes (and it has nothing to do with "flexible pricing").
  22. macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2007
    Cambridge, UK
    I hope that they spell 'apologise' correctly should it make the leap over here.

    American spelling =/= English spelling, therefore it's wrong :)
  23. macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2007
    Texas, USA
    NBC also complained that they didn't get a piece of the Apple hardware sales... give me a break.

    Do they get money from every TV manufacturer when a TV is sold?

    The NBC president is an idiot. And I doubt they only made $15M.
  24. macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2007
    If anyone has an invite... I'd love one. PM me.

    Also, no full screen view? Are they crazy? Even if it looked horrible in FS, I would still watch it.
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2007
    I know there are ways to rip content off Youtube into a downloadable video format. Can you do the same to these? Then we can put it on our ipod.

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