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Dec

Hulu Case Study

 

Founded in 2007, Hulu is one of the largest video streaming websites on the internet.

System Specifications

  • Bandwidth (Why High?): Hulu, like Netflix, needs a large amount of bandwidth in order to stream high quality video at a high speed. Most of Hulu’s traffic comes from people watching television shows so the quality won’t vary as much as Netflix, but streaming content heavy information for a long period of time does require a good amount of bandwidth.
  • CPU (Why Medium?): To adjust the content of the video to the different screen sizes and qualities, Hulu will have a spike of high CPU usage but will go down once the picture is configured.
  • Disk (Why High?): In order to store the massive video collection Hulu owns, it’s not surprising it has just as a massive amount of disk space.
  • RAM (Why High?): RAM is used for essentially for the same purpose as CPU in this case – on the fly conversions. Hulu needs this high amount of RAM to configure the streaming to different screen sizes, internet connections, and screen resolutions.
  • Scalability (Why High?): Hulu uses an extremely scalable form of dedicated hosting and is able to handle the ever growing traffic demands.

Overview
Founded in 2007, Hulu is one of the largest video streaming websites on the internet. Since its creation, it has risen to the 185th most visited site on the web. It is jointly owned by NBC Universal, News Corp., The Walt Disney Company, and Providence Equity Partners.

History
In October of 2007, Hulu debuted as a private beta, later going public in March of 2008. Since then, it has been named “Website of the Year” by the Associated Press, one of Time magazine’s “50 Best inventions,” and has had more traffic in the U.S. than Fox News, Mozilla.com, Ask.com, Pandora, and Dictionary.com. In just a few short years, it has grown from a small venture to a multimillion-dollar business.

Features
Not only can you watch television episodes, but also full length movies and clips using a variety of methods: on the computer, on the TV, on mobile phones, and on tablets. As an ad-supported website, viewers can watch videos for free, but must watch the ads as well. However, Hulu has recently released a paid version called Hulu Plus, in which you gain more features and lose the advertisements. You also can watch videos on other platforms, such as gaming consoles and on an app for smart phones and Apple products.

Hulu’s selection of premium programming is provided by more than 225 leading content companies, including FOX, NBC Universal, ABC, Lionsgate, MGM, National Geographic, Paramount, A&E Television Networks, PBS, and Warner Bros. Television Group.

NBC’s CEO Jeff Zucker is quoted saying, “This venture supercharges our distribution of protected, quality content to fans everywhere. Consumers get a hugely attractive aggregation of a wide range of content, and marketers get a novel way to connect with a large and highly engaged audience.”

System
Hulu’s provider is Akamai Technologies, a leader in the Internet monitoring industry. Using its breakthrough technology called The Edge Platform, it can “visualize the internet,” using applied mathematics and algorithms to efficiently maximize its 73,000 servers to host up to 20% of the web’s traffic.

Hulu uses Akamai because of its ability to monitor traffic, trouble spots, and the overall conditions on the internet, and to adjust the conditions to improve the performance of its website.

Akamai is also a leading Internet server company; its customers include the NBA, NASA, Apple Inc., Toyota, Verizon Wireless, and many other large corporations. Hulu uses this technology to give customers the best in internet video.

Summary
Hulu is a major company in the video streaming industry. It has come a long way from its beginnings as a small venture to its current position as a multimillion-dollar company. Hulu, through its strategic partnership with Akamai, has delivered a simple way for consumers to watch what they want when it’s convenient for them.

Sources

Amazon.com. “Hulu.com Site Info.” Alexa. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/hulu.com (accessed December 14, 2010).

Coyle, Jake. “On the Net: Hulu is Web site of the year.” The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/entertainment/2008539776_aponthenetsiteoftheyear.html (accessed December 14, 2010).

“Hulu – About.” Hulu. http://www.hulu.com/about (accessed December 14, 2010).

“Hulu Debuts Via Private Beta.” Hulu. http://www.hulu.com/press/private_beta.html (accessed December 14, 2010).

“Hulu.com Opens to Public.” Hulu. http://www.hulu.com/press/launch_press_release.html (accessed December 14, 2010).

Time Warner. “Best Inventions of 2008.” Time. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1852747_1854195_1854116,00.html (accessed December 14, 2010).

“Visualizing the Internet.” Akamai. http://www.akamai.com/html/technology/visualizing_akamai.html (accessed December 15, 2010).

Weiss, Todd R.. “YouTube gets a rival.” Computerworld. http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9014058/YouTube_gets_a_rival (accessed December 15, 2010).

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About Rebekah Perkins

Rebekah is an avid writer and former lacrosse player. She is also the Content Manager at NetHosting. Rebekah enjoys the pace and energy of the Internet industry as well as the rules-are-made-to-be-broken attitude of the English language.



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