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Tina Fey Spikes Hulu Viewing; Shows How Online Video Can Be Great


Online video site Hulu raked in 24 million US viewers in October, twice the number it reached just one month earlier. Why? The answer, at least in part, is Tina Fey. According to comScore senior analyst Andrew Lipsman, a spike in viewers of Tina Fey’s Palin satire raised Hulu’s overall numbers, and even with a drop-off after the election, Hulu viewing is still trending up.

The Tina Fey spike illustrates some of the biggest benefits of Internet video. It’s fast, it’s viral, and it’s always on-demand. It also shows where there’s real opportunity for cable and telco providers. Cable and telco VOD services are really still only in their infancy. Why not have the Tina Fey clips available on-demand from the living-room TV? Or other clips that get top viewing numbers online? There’s some work to be done at the back end with VOD technology to speed up ingest, processing, and delivery, but there’s no reason why that can’t be done. Cable and telco operators have an opportunity to learn from the lessons of Internet video and then take advantage of that knowledge with their dedicated pipes into the home. In the short term that might mean more  types and a greater volume of on-demand video. In the slightly longer term it should mean new cross-domain offerings – packages and promotions that cross traditional video, Internet, and mobile networks. There is literally infinite possibility.

Maybe we’ll get a few hints of what’s to come at CES…

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