TV advertising on the Web

Hulu.com pushes to revive TV advertising on the Web (Randall Stross, iht.com, April, 6): "Long ago, in the heyday of broadcast television, when networks did pretty much as they pleased, rule No. 1 was this: Viewers shall sit still and watch commercials.

"Later, technology gave viewers the option of disregarding the network's commandments. The arrival of the remote control's mute button, and then TiVo, did their part to undermine commercials, and so has the more recent rise of YouTube. When viewers seek entertaining videos on the YouTube site, commercial breaks are not part of the picture.

"Now the television industry is moving online and mounting its most ambitious attempt to date to restore the mandatory viewing of commercials. Their instrument is Hulu, a company founded jointly in March 2007 by NBC Universal and News Corp. that provides free, advertising-supported television shows for viewing on the Web. It ended its test period last month and declared that Hulu.com was officially open for business - though the Web site's videos are only available to users in the United States." (...)


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