Hulu Pranks: The Joke’s on Who? (Original)

Hulu has been getting a lot of attention for its pranks recently. We even let you in on our last one. But one in-office prank this year took April Fools Day to a new level—and maybe a higher level of consciousness. We thought we should let you know about it. – Ed.

VP of Distribution Pete Distad is known for many things: his ability to manage the complexities of business negotiations, his down-to-earth sensibilities, and his terrific sense of humor. Sadly, the one thing he’s terrible at is following through on performing pranks. As seen in the recent Hulu blog post regarding our history, Pete claimed “This year, the joke’s on them.” But April Fool’s Day has come and gone, and Pete has made no attempt to prank those of us who, year after year, convert his desk into any number of ridiculous settings (golf course, tin-foil palace, kid’s balloon party).

So this year, we decided to raise the bar a bit and see what new and interesting things we could do to Pete’s desk. One challenge, however, was that he, like the rest of our executive staff, no longer work in offices. Virtually everyone at Hulu now resides in open-space cubes.…

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Check It Out! Hulu.com Gets an Upgrade (Original)

While we’re all reeling from the news of banks charging fees on ATM withdrawals — what next, mobile phones that connect to the World Wide Web?!? — there’s some good news. “The Morning After” revealed this morning that Michael Jordan is launching a new cologne and actor Jon Voight’s daughter, Angelina Jolie, married “Hackers” star Johnny Lee Miller (you go, girl!) last weekend.

While all that was going down, the Hulu team was hard at work implementing some new features to the http://www.hulu.com home page. While we’re still working on our GeoCities fan page, we just implemented a new visitor counter and, even cooler, a guest book for you to leave your comments. As always, these features are best seen on Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer with your resolution set at 1024×768.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

© 1996 Hulu, LLC …

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Find More to Watch with Hulu Recommendations (Original)

Hopefully you’ve benefited from Hulu’s recommendations in the past, whether we’ve helped you get reacquainted with an old favorite TV show or introduced you to a new movie on Hulu. For logged-in Hulu users, the recommendations engine takes into account all kinds of factors as it suggests shows that you might enjoy — including videos you’ve watched, commented on, or told us you’ve enjoyed in the past.

Now we’ve made it even easier for you to find great shows and movies with our new recommendations hub. You can easily access your recommendations right off of the home page navigation bar. Think of it as a personal shopper that will point you to great entertainment, tailored to your specific tastes.

Enjoy! And as always, let us know what you think on our discussion board.

Peter Sargent
Product Manager…

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A gift for movie lovers: Criterion Collection joins Hulu Plus (Original)

My earliest movie exposure was heavily influenced by what my father could find at the local video store. He’d stop there on the way home from work and pick out one of new releases from the display of empty video boxes that lined the outer walls of the store. And so my early love of movies grew largely from a diet of American Hollywood blockbusters because that’s what dominated the most coveted merchandising space at our local video stores.

After college, I moved to Seattle, and some movie buffs I met there introduced me to a video store called Scarecrow Video. This was unlike any video store I’d ever encountered. It was enormous, carrying seemingly every movie ever put on video in any format, from VHS to laserdisc to DVD, including PAL videotapes and foreign region DVDs that required renting special machines to play. These were movies from all over the world, in all languages, sorted not just by new versus old but by country, director, and genre. It was at Scarecrow that I rented my first Criterion laser disc. Most of them were so rare that the store required a credit card deposit of several hundred dollars just to walk out of the store with the movie.…

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Stewart, Colbert, and Hulu’s thoughts about the future of TV (Original)

We are extremely happy to announce a broad content agreement between Viacom and Hulu that brings The Daily Show and The Colbert Report back to Hulu and now also to Hulu Plus, beginning this morning. Each of the shows will be available the morning after they originally air.

As part of the agreement, a selection of great current programming from MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, TV Land, BET and other Viacom channel brands will also be added to Hulu Plus. Each episode of leading shows like Jersey Shore, Teen Mom 2, and Tosh.0 will be available starting 21 days after their on-air premiere, and all episodes will remain on the service through the end of their respective season. Welcome to Hulu Plus, Snooki.

In the coming weeks on Hulu Plus, we also will be adding more than 2,000 episodes of shows from Viacom’s library including Chappelle’s Show,The Hills, Reno 911, and many more.

While the new content above is news on its own, I thought it would be appropriate to use this opportunity to also share the Hulu team’s point of view on the future of TV. For those interested, read on. For those not interested, may we suggest the latest episode of The Daily Show?…

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Hulu Labs Preview: ‘The Morning After’ (Original)

At Hulu, we pay a lot of attention to what users say about us, and how Hulu fits into your lives. For many of you, we know that Hulu has become an important way to catch up on current TV — the place to go when you missed last night’s episode of Glee, 30 Rock, or Modern Family. And when we read the discussions boards on Hulu.com and tweets from our users, it’s clear to us that enjoying Hulu is about more than any one show. It’s also about how your favorite shows relate to the rest of what is going on in pop culture.

Part of the fun is connecting the dots … TV, movies, web video, Twitter … what’s hot, what’s trending, and what‘s over. Lately, our users have been asking us for a quick and fun way to stay current on the latest in pop culture. We looked far and wide for a show that struck the right balance between being entertaining and being informative, but we just couldn’t find something that hit the mark.

So today, we are previewing The Morning After, a new initiative from Hulu Labs designed to help our users stay current on the water cooler chatter of the day.…

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Introducing Playlists and a New Way to Browse (Original)

Just in time for the holidays, we’ve unwrapped some new goodies to share with our users on Hulu.com: playlists and a new way to browse the site.

We’re always looking for new ways to make watching TV on Hulu more fun, and playlists now put our users in control: now you can create and share your own playlists with your friends and the rest of the Hulu community. Think you’re an expert on all things Saturday Night Live? Create a definitive playlist. Want to save an assortment of videos to watch back-to-back later? Create a playlist. Simply click on the “+” symbol near a video on Hulu and select the “Add to playlist” option. Create a new playlist or add the video to an existing list; later, you can enter descriptions for the video from the new “Playlists” tab in your Profile.

Hulu Playlists

From your profile view, you can browse all of your playlists, write descriptions, and also set your privacy preferences. (Videos that are set to “public” can be browsed from our new Playlists hub and viewed by the entire Hulu community.) I’ve already created one about two of my favorite guys on TV, Troy and Abed from Community, but you can also explore Hulu’s Editors’ picks from the main Playlists hub.…

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