What Hulu’s new features mean for the future of online video

As a lot of you have probably seen, Hulu announced a few new exciting features on their online video platform last week. And I’m extremely exciting about some of them, because it seems the online video world is heading where I expected it to go :).

Here are some of the things they launched and my thoughts on why I think they launched them:

Bigger screen – they’ve increased their player size by 25%. Now, you could already click full-screen anyway, so why bigger screen? Well, to be able to plug in various advertising / interactive elements, don’t you think? *wink wink* 🙂

Ad tailor – a small little tool that asks people if they like a specific ad. Oh, yeah, and a polling system that asks people various things related to the platform. Hm, I know a company that’s been doing that for quite some time now :). On a more serious note – the smart people of Hulu have understood that in order to be better at advertising, they need to interact with people to find out what they want.

Heat map & seek bar – the heat map is a cool way to find out which part of a video is more popular. The seek bar allows you to view thumbs in the video at any specific point in the video. These are two features  that I’m very excited about, because both of them point towards where Hulu’s heading: engaging the viewer with the video content and making more use of the data they have.

One thing I don’t really agree on with Hulu is their lack of HTML5 support. HTML5 is extremely important in the video on demand ecosystem I think, because it makes it so easy to stream content across multiple platforms.

All in all, I think hulu’s definitely one of the innovators in the online video space, and the fact that they’re making steps towards interactive video & advertising reinforces what I’ve been saying for quite some time now: the future of video is interactive.