Online video site Hulu trumpeted its ascension to the media big time a few months back with a dash of sardonic humor. In its debut TV commercial, in which Alec Baldwin mocks the audience’s addiction to the very shows he creates as a fictional network executive, the site calls itself “an evil plot to destroy the world.”
The joke is uneasily close to the truth for some in the television business.
Once dismissed as “Clown Co.” by Silicon Valley critics who scoffed at the notion that old media giants could ever harness the Internet, the website with a name that sounds like a Hawaiian dance has quickly upset the status quo. Hulu’s traction with users has entrenched entertainment companies worried that the video site’s runaway success could undercut the financial underpinnings of the industry.
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