NBC-News Corp Venture Gets a Name

The unnamed-until-now joint venture between News Corp and NBC Universal now has a name: Hulu. But can the two media giants really challenge Google and the online video dominance of YouTube?

Like so many before it, Hulu's name means absolutely nothing. However, the two companies wanted something short and simple to identify the product, so it settled with the unusual name.

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"Objectively, Hulu is short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and rhymes with itself," Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said in a statement. "Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we're building."

Hulu follows the naming of other Internet products that have no real meaning in any language. Notable examples include Google, Skype, Joost and others. Many of the products now have become standard bearers for the markets they serve.

The company will begin beta testing in October of this year. Hulu has begun to take interested users' e-mail addresses from its new Web site. The company said the test will initially start small, although it plans to grow as the test progresses.

Recently, Hulu received a $100 million USD investment from Providence Equity Partners in exchange for 10 percent of the company, meaning a value of $1 billion has been placed on the venture. At the time, the company said the money would be used to speed up encoding of programs.

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