NEW YORK: Video-sharing service Hulu, the lovechild created by NBC Universal and News Corporation to challenge the might of Youtube, launches today (Wednesday) with a brand new advertising format.

Hulu, which has also inked content deals with the likes of Warner Brothers and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, is offering users the choice of three commercials - with an option not to watch any ads in within a movie or TV show in return for viewing a movie trailer before the chosen content begins.

Hulu ceo Jason Kilar says this model will deliver more accurately targeted ads: "The Holy Grail of advertising is to be as relevant and interesting as the content. This is an important step towards that end." 
Users will also be able to email clips of their favourite shows to friends, or publish them on websites. Every time a clip is viewed, Hulu will generate ad revenue.

NewsCorp ceo Peter Chernin is licking his lips: "With tools that make sharing easy, Hulu encourages viral distribution.

"At the same time, Hulu's distribution partners are some of the most visited on the web, engaging consumers where they are already spending their time."

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff