The network-backed video hub Hulu is leasing space in data centers operated by Equinix (EQIX) to speed delivery of its free streaming service, which opened in beta last week. Hulu will use Equinix peering centers to make direct peering connections with major network service providers.
Hulu is a highly-anticipated online video service featuring programs from Fox, NBC Universal, MGM, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Television Group. The content will appear at Hulu.com as well as web properties from AOL, Comcast, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo.
Peering allows two providers exchanging large volumes of traffic to save money by connecting directly, rather than routing traffic through their paid Internet connections. Peering does not provide access to the entire Internet, only the other provider's customers. Peering is often free as long as the amount of traffic exchanged is not out of balance, providing substantial cost savings for bandwidth for high-traffic sites and networks.
"The much anticipated launch of Hulu.com is breaking new ground in the delivery of streaming video, giving consumers entertainment choices when and where they want, free of charge," said Steve Smith, president and CEO of Equinix. "As rich applications, such as streaming video, have a low tolerance for latency, Hulu and others have found that operating in the same physical environment as an aggregated mass of their strategic network connectivity partners offers a much more efficient means to reliably deliver content that the traditional model."