Hulu cleans its room

Genre channels and actor-based search are two of the newest features that the video content site has launched.

Hulu announced Tuesday that it now has more than 900 series and movie titles in its library from over 100 content providers. So in conjunction, the video hub--started as a joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp.--has done some cleanup work.

Hulu now has a "Channels" option where you can sort through its programming by genre, from "comedy" to "reality" to "anime." The site is working to beef up the latter in order to attract Japanese animation's millions of Web-savvy fans. There's also a "Web Originals" channel to filter the programming that's available only online--ranging from the new Lonelygirl15 series The Resistance, to short comedy series produced by the Saturday Night Live team, to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. If you don't know what that is, I suggest you search for it on Hulu.

Indexing by channels is something that other video-content providers, like Joost, have already been doing for months. Hulu didn't need it at first--launching with a handful of movies, Web series, and NBC and Fox shows. At that point, giving the option to sort by genre would only have made the selection look limited. Now that Hulu has gotten much bigger (two words: Stephen Colbert), it's a different story entirely.

Genre browsing is also another way to get advertisers in the mix. Hulu's "food and leisure" channel, for example, is currently sponsored by sweetener brand Splenda.

Hulu has also rolled out a few more new features, including actor-based search (a queue for "Rainn Wilson" brought up not only episodes of The Office but also red-carpet interviews with the oddball actor) and discussion boards for specific episodes and programs.

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