HULU will officially launch on Wednesday, offering full-length episodes of 250 television series, 100 feature-length films and some of the top online video content. The News Corp – NBC U venture has gone all-out, adding new programming from Lionsgate, Warner Bros. TV Group, the NBA, the NHL, the Onion News Network and more. Of course, this is all added to its huge beta selection of content from Fox, NBC and more. Hulu has a lot of high-quality programming. The site will also blaze new trails in advertising by offering two unique ad formats. One will allow viewers to choose between multiple ads. The other will offer viewers a commercial-free show if they agree to watch a 2 and a half minute movie trailer. Since entering beta the site has already shown signs of being a success, growing to 5 million monthly viewers and having its content embedded in over 5,000 sites. Hulu is a major experiment and the long-awaited network reaction to YouTube. If you haven’t tried Hulu during the beta period, log on to this Wednesday to give it a shot.

LIONSGATE will begin including iPod-ready digital copies of films released on DVD and Blu-ray, starting with the May 27 release of “Rambo.” Fox initially kicked off the digital-copy concept last November with the release of “Live Free or Die Hard.” The number of digital copies actually activated so far has been small but the studios see the option as protection against piracy and a way to maintain DVD sales as viewers increasingly demand portable media.

DISNEY expects to generate $1 billion in revenue from online content this fiscal year according to CEO Bob Iger. That would be about 3% of company revenue, based on 2007 numbers. Disney has been very aggressive at embracing the shift to online content, selling shows and movies on iTunes, streaming TV episodes on and even purchasing social-networking site Club Penguin. The forward-thinking approach has clearly paid off and puts Disney in a good position as more viewers shift to new media.

AFTRA has reached a tentative deal with producers covering daytime serials, talk shows and game shows. The deal increases wages, provides residuals for Internet downloads and increases health care contributions. The deal must now be ratified by members. Prime-time dramas and sitcoms are covered under a separate contract that expires in June.

NEWS CORP said it will not compete with Microsoft for Yahoo.

NIELSEN will introduce a new series of reports that analyzes the connection between blog coverage and box office performance.

SPRINT will update is Mogul phone to run on the faster EV-DO Rev. A network, giving the phone Internet access speeds formerly reserved for laptops.

ENTRIQ has acquired content-management provider DAYPORT.

COMCAST and TICKETMASTER have canceled their major investment in AEG Live.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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