Hulu, for example.In today's world of DVRs and online video distribution, "prime-time television" is rapidly becoming a meaningless term. Every minute of the day is prime-time for someone. And that makes services that provide easy access to that prime-time content incredibly popular. Like
But there's still the matter of getting people to the content or the content to those people. SplashCast - the service that creates full-fledged channels of embeddable entertainment content - may have the answer: "social TV players" that enable users to embed dynamically updated channels of Hulu content within their social network profiles.
Today, SplashCast and Hulu announced a partnership that will have SplashCast working to create customized embeddable players for a number of popular Hulu shows. The players, which can contain anywhere from one show to multiple seasons of shows, make it simple for users to embed the shows in social networks or on blogs. Just as important, the SplashCast players update dynamically. As soon as new episodes of a series appear on Hulu, they'll appear in the player.
SplashCast has plans to carry 20 popular Hulu shows from a variety of networks. For NBC, the shows include The Office, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, Chuck, and Heroes. FOX offerings (which I'm betting will get the most play with the social media crowd) include The Simpsons, Family Guy, Arrested Development, House, Bones, Fringe, and Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles. Additional shows include Battlestar Galactica, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Nip/Tuck, among others. More shows will be added in the coming months. Each show will be wrapped in a custom SplashCast player that matches the look and feel of the show.
So Hulu gets a simple vehicle for broader distribution. What's in it for SplashCast, aside from the fact that they get to work with one of the most popular - and also completely legal - online video content providers?
For one, SplashCast gets to deliver the social features around the shows. When users are communicating with one another about their favorite characters and episodes, they'll be doing that within the SplashCast chrome, which gives SplashCast some very interesting data points on who is watching what and how they feel about it.
But there's also an opportunity for SplashCast to explore additional ad revenue on the embeddable players. SplashCast has a great deal of experience in delivering high-end branded players, so I'm sure that they have some creative ideas beyond the standard "brought to you by..." advertising options.
Will users adopt this new offering? It's hard to say, but it's likely. SplashCast currently estimates 10 million consumers per month access SplashCast channels, primarily via Facebook embedded channels. A number of these embedded entertainment channels feature popular musical artists - people with whom social network users want to associate themselves. No doubt, the Hulu shows will effect a similar attraction.
For now, we'll just have to wait and see if the shows that Hulu has offered up inspire the social networking crowd to embed them and - more importantly - watch them.