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NBC Drops YouTube: Hulu Launching Soon

huluA week ahead of launching a beta for Hulu , their Internet video joint venture with News Corp (Fox), NBC is circling the wagons and gathering up their content.

In a move reportedly confirmed by an NBC spokesperson, the company has pulled all its video clips from YouTube.  Notice for the takedown was sent Friday.

The move is intended to maximize Hulu’s exclusivity and give it the best chance for drawing audience.  Having the same content available elsewhere would have undermined the launch.

Whether Hulu will steal market share from YouTube or other video sites remains to be seen – and will be closely watched.  A tremendous amount of time and money has been spent on the expectation that it will.

For the past 9 months, YouTube and NBC have been promotional partners with NBC showcasing authorized clips on the popular video site.   YouTube has characterized that partnership as a success story.

News Corp, Hulu’s other founding partner, does not have a promotional channel or relationship with YouTube so no such request was needed on their part.   An article in the Financial Times does report, however, that News Corp has been especially and increasingly vigilant in requesting removal of their copyrighted works from video sites around the net. 

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