37 | CEO, HULU
The technoscenti snickered when Jason Kilar launched the video-streaming site Hulu in March 2008. The idea that online viewers would sit through commercials to watch TV programmingand that multiple networks would cooperate and contribute to the same siteseemed laughable. As one blogger pointed out, hulu means "cease and desist" in Swahili. But a year later, Kilar's site is an ideal marriage of old and new mediapresenting a variety of TV content, from skits to full episodes, offered by networks and 100 other providers. And unlike YouTube, Hulu has a business plan, because its audiencesome 25 million strongis actually eyeballing the ads. "We only show a quarter of the ads that network TV does," Kilar says. "But people remember them." Hence he can charge his fast-growing stable of advertisers a premium. Now that Kilar's taking his TV-on-the-Internet model overseas, he'll draw on the same televangelist skills that convinced competitors like NBC, Fox, and Viacom that salvation lies in coexisting on Hulu. "Piracy is our biggest competitor," Kilar says. "But if you give people a high-quality, free alternative, they'll make the right choice."