March 20, 2009

Hulu Launches Documentaries Section

Hulu just got a little more real.

As part of its one-year anniversary, free video streaming site Hulu has been thanking its growing viewers with a series of Fan Appreciation events.

Since March 12, the site has been spotlighting more episodes of favorite series, new shows and movies and social networking functions. Today, the surprise was the launch of a special Documentaries section.

New titles in the section include Super Size Me, Confessions of a Superhero, DIG!, Buena Vista Social Club, and more. They even went old-school and featured a text Q&A with Morgan Spurlock to commemorate the event.

Morgan digs the site, saying in the Q&A: "Hulu is fantastic. One of the things I always say about it is that's consistent, and the quality of the player and images are amazing. And it's starting to push other content on the backs of the NBC and Fox shows that made it a destination. The reach of Hulu and what it's accomplished so far--name recognition, quality programming--is remarkable."

A majority of the films come via a new relationship with SnagFilms, which added Hulu as a distribution partner providing portions of its video library.

SnagFilms brings the best nonfiction films to the web audience, promotes viral web distribution through virtual movie theater widgets, and engages viewers to assist in charitable and community efforts. "SnagFilms was created to make more great films available to the broadest possible audience. Now with Hulu we can delight viewers on one of the Internet's most-visited video sites with a growing set of documentaries from our large library, and deepen the already broad set of entertainment choices that Hulu offers," said Rick Allen CEO of SnagFilms in a press release.

In addition to featuring documentary films selected from Snag Films' library of 600 films, the Hulu documentary channel will provide viewers with access to regular bonus content including, "Behind the Camera," a question-and-answer feature with select documentary filmmakers. "'Behind the Camera,' will give viewers a never before seen look into documentary films and help viewers understand what drives documentary filmmakers to do what they do," added Rick Allen.

The relationship only furthers the reach of docs, supports a model that gets the filmmakers paid and makes sharing the content as easy as, well, this: