Basically, Hulu was created on the same rule that lead to names like Google or Skype: it must be short, catchy, easy to tie the product (service) to and it must not mean anything in the real world, no matter the language. As usual, its creators are convinced that they made the right choice:
"Objectively, Hulu is short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and rhymes with itself. Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we’re building."(Jason Kilar, Hulu CEO)
The site will enter its Beta-testing phase this October. Those interested in taking part in the tests may visit the site, enter their e-mail addresses and cross their fingers hoping that will be among the chosen ones.
And now, back to the funky name at hand. First of all, “hulu” does have a meaning. It is the Chinese name for calabash and it was used in ancient Chinese medicine.
Second, it seems like the guys responsible for the name were really lacking good ideas. Hulu is simple construction alright, but it’s also definitely not impressive, if not downright plain.