YouTube is taking a Hulu approach to its imminent redesign. Uttering that sentence a mere five years ago would have earned you some strange looks and possibly a tight-fitting strappy jacket (YouTube? Hulu? Is it time for your medication?), but now it all makes perfect sense, even the part about Hulu being run by aliens who feast on tender human brains. Look for YouTube to soon scrap its current navigation scheme—divided into sections for videos, channels, and community—in favor of a layout that highlights YouTube’s premium content as distinct from the user-generated videos that made the site a household name and a Google acquisition target.
The new design will offer four tabs: Movies, Music, Shows, and Videos. The first three tabs will display premium shows, clips, and movies from Google’s network and studio partners, all of which will be monetized with in-stream advertising. Meanwhile the Videos channel will house amateur and semi-pro content of the sort major brand advertisers have shied away from.
The Hulu-ness comes in with the redesigned YouTube video player interface, which will display designate scheduled ads with visual markers and allow users to reduce the brightness of their screens outside of the video frame. “It’s totally a Hulu approach, but that’s best practices right now,” an exec familiar with Google’s YouTube plans told ClickZ.