NBC's iTunes Alternative Launches Private Beta

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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
 

gauchogolfer

macrumors 603
Jan 28, 2005
5,551
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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.
 
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Lukjohnson21

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2007
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Cost??

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

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

Does this thing cost money. I f it does, its not as good as iTunes, because it can't be on an iPod!!
It appears to be ad-supported (ie. free)

arn
 
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fraserdrew

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

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2005
691
1
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.
 
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GfPQqmcRKUvP

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2005
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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.
 
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mirffy

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

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Jul 10, 2003
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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.
 
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arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
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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.
Did you try the embedded content above?

arn
 
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Thataboy

macrumors regular
Dec 31, 2004
219
0
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.
 
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aLoC

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2006
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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.
 
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nigrunze

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2007
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Argh!

Aah.

"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:
 
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Peace

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Apr 1, 2005
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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.
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.
 
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Schnebar

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2006
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California
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.
 
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fregedegpo

macrumors member
May 27, 2004
30
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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. :)
 
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Thataboy

macrumors regular
Dec 31, 2004
219
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New York, NY
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.
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").
 
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mrowl

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2007
205
0
Texas, USA
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.
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.
 
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4ndr3w

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2007
119
12
Chicago
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.
 
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brinycbri

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2007
514
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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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