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Television Businesses Movies The Internet Entertainment

Hulu For Sale: Is There Good News For Users? 473

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-we-call-it-yahooloo dept.
itwbennett writes "The LA Times reports that Hulu, which is jointly owned by Comcast, News Corp., Disney, and Providence Equity, has retained investment banks Guggenheim Partners and Morgan Stanley to help them find a buyer. Yahoo is said to have expressed an interest, but not made a firm offer. But what might this sale mean for users? GigaOm says we can expect to see more ads. But there are also 'indications that free Hulu users will have to be a cable subscriber in order to watch shows the day after they air,' says blogger Peter Smith."
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Hulu For Sale: Is There Good News For Users?

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  • Licensing Fees (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Friday June 24, 2011 @11:37AM (#36556756) Journal

    I don't know how Hulu would be profitable if sold off by its current owners. Part of the reason it has been profitable is because its owners are also the owners of the shows that are streamed on Hulu. If it's no longer in the hands of Comcast, News Corp and Disney, how could it survive if it also has to pay licensing fees to the IP owners? Hulu being sold can only be bad for their users, I think. Either the range of shows must be cut to avoid the licensing fees, or more ads, or bigger paywalls/subscriptions or any multitude of things to balance out the suddenly appearing higher cost of obtaining the shows.

    • Re:Licensing Fees (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KingSkippus (799657) on Friday June 24, 2011 @11:49AM (#36557008) Homepage Journal

      True. And what frustrates me most is that content owners and distributors sit around scratching their heads wondering why people download infringing content so often. Um... Could it be because they have systematically shut off every reasonable legal way of obtaining it?

      Well, it was nice while it lasted.

      • by Idbar (1034346)
        It's even more bizarre that they pay for broadcasting frequencies, antennas and equipment. But they have the chance of broadcasting shows online at the expense of Hulu's bandwidth and they don't do it. I don't want to watch what and when they want me to watch. I want to watch when I have the time and desired of doing so.
      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        Could it be because they have systematically shut off every reasonable legal way of obtaining it?

        There are legal ways to obtain it. They want you to pay for cable and buy the DVD. You can't force people to sell their property at whatever terms the buyer dictates, even if it's in the seller's interest. They've been trying to give away content thru Hulu for several years now and it just doesn't make money. This was the experiment and for the purpose of a profitmaking enterprise, it failed.

        There are plenty of practical reasons why people to pirate these programs, but there's no normative, moral or eth

      • Hulu's been around what, 3 or 4 years now? The first 2 years I used it, it was pretty great. There were some commercials, I didn't mind too much. There was a huge selection of movies and good TV shows.

        Last year, I stopped watching Hulu. They put almost anything worth watching behind the Hulu Plus service, what was left to the free users was often delayed by a MONTH (seriously, there were 3 or 4 shows I was trying to watch which would put the first 2 episodes of the season on after a week delay - ok, I can l

        • by mattack2 (1165421)

          I'm a big user of Netflix, but if you're referring to streaming, Netflix doesn't have the same things that Hulu does, even 6 months later. Someone else used the example of reality shows, and that's a good one.. because those very rarely show up on DVD, and at least so far, it seems like the major network ones haven't showed up on netflix streaming. So I've watched a *very* few that I missed (including due to Tivo drive dying) on Hulu.

          But even like older seasons of Kitchen Nightmares (I missed most of one

    • I'm sure that the byzantine details would make my brain leak out my ears; but there is almost certainly some sort of internal-cost-accounting mechanism in place, even with Hulu an appendage of the rightsholders.

      Since showing them on Hulu reduces, however incrementally, their sale value to other venues(Umm... why would I pay $Xmillion, if my customers can just watch it on hulu?), the Hulu ownership is almost certainly 'charging' for the stuff streamed on Hulu. It may be an actual transaction, with money b
    • Re:Licensing Fees (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SethJohnson (112166) on Friday June 24, 2011 @12:12PM (#36557388) Homepage Journal
      That sort of logic is exactly why Yahoo is a prime candidate for buying Hulu. They're suckers for buying video streaming services without a proper understanding of how it will operate in their own hands. Consider their acquisition of Broadcast.com from Mark Cuban in the late nineties. It was the single deal that made him the billionaire he is today.

      From wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

      In April 1999, Yahoo! acquired the company for $5.7 billion in stock and renamed it Yahoo! Broadcast Solutions. Over the next few years Yahoo! split the services previously offered by Broadcast.com into separate services, Yahoo! Launchcast for music and Yahoo! Platinum for video entertainment. Yahoo! Platinum has since been discontinued, its functionality being offered as part of two pay services, AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet and Yahoo! Plus.

      As of May 2011, neither broadcast.com nor broadcast.yahoo.com are distinct web addresses; both simply redirect to yahoo.com.

      As you can see, the folks at Comcast, News Corp, and Disney have found their mark for dumping Hulu.

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      I'm not worried, too many people have gone cable-free, if hulu disappears or gets horribly worse (charging huge fees) someone will come along and offer an alternative. I stopped cable in 2008 and downloaded everything. Hulu allowed me stop downloading and stream. It also introduced me to new shows I had never heard of. I use to use a program called TED (torrent episode downloader) that would automatically seek out new episodes of shows and download them. Hulu meant I didnt need TED anymore but if hulu
      • Ah, the old "I was forced to pirate the content because they wouldn't offer it to me for free" argument. Nobody is forcing you to watch TV... turn it off and do something more productive with your time instead.

        • You have a point.

          But an interesting counterpoint is that the cable TV model is fundamentally broken. Subscribers pay far more than the cost to provide the service from the cable office to the wall socket--they pay money that goes to the companies that own the channels--but they are still fed commercials.

          The whole point of ad-supported TV is that, as with over-the-air broadcast networks since the beginning, the commercials finance the programming. But cable networks aren't satisfied with that--they want mo

      • by tepples (727027)
        Congratulations on having stopped cable. Do you have any tips for stopping cable for people who live with fans of cable news or cable sports?
        • by gottabeme (590848)

          If they can't get their fixes from over-the-air broadcasts, then I guess they have two choices: a) wean themselves off the constant news and sports; b) resubscribe to cable.

          I'm as bad about this as anyone, but we'd all be better off if we did less vicarious living and more real living.

        • by cashman73 (855518)
          Replacement for cable news: Fark.com [fark.com]

          Replacement for cable sports: sports bar, which also has a nice beer tap along with it,. . .

          Occasionally, sports bars may host a Fark party, satisfying both of those options in one! =)

          • Replacement for cable news: Fark.com

            I don't see how Fark.com or MSNBC.com or FoxNews.com would be used from the couch while one is doing housework. She wants to listen and occasionally glance up, not read the screen. She's even had someone hook up an FM transmitter to her cable box so that she can listen in the shower.

            Replacement for cable sports: sports bar

            The sports fan has kids and stepkids in the household, and they're not yet old enough to enter the sports bar with their dad/stepdad.

    • Do people still use Hulu? Haven't they figured out that it's a complete ripoff yet? Pay for a service that still inundates you with commercials? Yeah...fuck that.

      Every program on Hulu is available with less stress and bullshit elsewhere on the net.

      • Do people still use Hulu? Haven't they figured out that it's a complete ripoff yet? Pay for a service that still inundates you with commercials? Yeah...fuck that.

        Every program on Hulu is available with less stress and bullshit elsewhere on the net.

        *Not legally. Which is why Hulu has gained the popularity it has.

      • by nomadic (141991)
        My time is valuable. I'd rather pay $8 a month and get guaranteed access to those few shows I like to watch than waste time hunting down individual shows and dealing with low bandwidth sites.
      • Pay for a service that still inundates you with commercials?

        So what you're saying is... Hulu is cable TV?/p?

        • by tepples (727027)
          No, cable TV at least has news and sports. Does Hulu?
        • by mattack2 (1165421)

          But I can FF through commercials with cable TV (because I have recorded the show beforehand).

          I have semi-seriously considered getting a video out cable for a laptop to record (to external DVD recorder, more convenient/reliable than trying to literally record the video on the same computer) the few shows in the future I'll possibly watch on Hulu, so I can avoid the commercials then too..

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      It sort of pissed me that they started releasing good shows there, and when I was hooked, they showed messages about "not having rights to show them".

      Shows I was following in Hulu disappeared to me (Burn Notice, V come to mind right now), so I would not be watching those in TV. Too bad the good shows may be loosing audience just because people was used to watch them on Hulu. Now that it's plagued with reality shows and mediocre productions, they want to sell it. Well, No wonder why!
      • Re:Licensing Fees (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@NosPaM.cornell.edu> on Friday June 24, 2011 @12:48PM (#36557922) Homepage

        Another sign that the people running it are out of touch with reality: The 8-day policy on many shows.

        Now I can fully understand why one would want to hold off on putting a show online - the content providers would prefer if people watch the (apparently more lucrative) TV commercials over cable or broadcast TV. They want to give people a chance to get one of the "late airings" of the show.

        So 5 days or 6 days would make great sense - Miss a show, either catch it later in the week, or catch it on Hulu just before the next episode airs.

        But 8 days is dumb - With the prevalence of series with long-running storylines (IMO one of the positive effects of DVRs and online streaming - miss an episode and you're not lost for the entire season any more.), this means that if someone misses a show, they will wind up permanently on a "don't watch it on TV" schedule unless the show skips a week. If you miss one, and it becomes available on Hulu AFTER the subsequent episode airs on TV - why are you going to watch the next episode on TV when you haven't seen the preceding one?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You would make it a condition of the sale.
      If I had access to the money to buy it, I would.

      I would market it as a DVR replacement. Consumer can watch what they want without needing to screw around with the DVR, Right holders will get more accurate information about who is watching it.

      I would do a non commercial subscriptions well as free play w/ commercial. I would limit commercial to 90 seconds at the beginning, and one 15 second add per break in the show, or once every 15 minutes.

      I would then be focused on

    • by Skadet (528657)

      Part of the reason it has been profitable is because its owners are also the owners of the shows that are streamed on Hulu. If it's no longer in the hands of Comcast, News Corp and Disney, how could it survive if it also has to pay licensing fees to the IP owners?

      Just because Hulu's owners own the content doesn't mean licensing is free to Hulu. In fact, it would behoove them to charge Hulu top dollar for the content and let Hulu take a loss for the tax breaks.

      They're different companies. Now that I think about it, if Comcast gave the rights away to Hulu wouldn't Hulu have to claim them as gains? They could be doing that to make the company look more profitable to a prospective buyer, although it'll be in the list of the top 5 things looked at in due diligence. Th

  • More ads? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pyrr (1170465) on Friday June 24, 2011 @11:47AM (#36556954)
    Hopefully if it sells, the new owner gets half a clue about how advertising works. I watch a good bit of Hulu, and mostly see the same half-dozen commercials over and over and over again. I honestly wouldn't mind seeing a few more ads...just so long as they're different ads.
    • by cdrguru (88047)

      What you are likely seeing are all of the ads they have available. If more ad space sells, then they will have a larger variety of ads to play. Unfortunately, I don't think there is much in the way of precise valuation of the ad space as there is in other media. So probably the ads are very expensive, which limits the sales of the ad space.

      This seems to be the same problem with other TV-with-ads on the Internet services. Not much depth in the ads, at least not yet.

      • by PickyH3D (680158)

        That's only because they are stupid.

        I know that you recognize it, as do most people on Slashdot, but services are clearly making their way onto the internet. I watch Hulu for all of my current TV needs, and the fact that their ads are so short (usually two per ad-block, and about a minute for the block), I usually actually pay attention to them because I don't have to kill time to go do something else as I do with traditional TV commercials, which take up literally a third of the show.

        For that reason alone,

        • by cdrguru (88047)

          The problem is, how many people? And, are they paying attention? On broadcast and cable TV there are systems and processes in place to track the viewership and stickiness of the ads - no such thing exists for Hulu or any of the other services. So if you are going to pony up $50,000 for a 30-second ad, you have a choice: you can show it on late-night cable TV where they can tell you 5376.327 people will pay attention to it (out of the 155,000 that will see it) and you can see this reflected in your marke

        • by mattack2 (1165421)

          Commercials do take (close to) a third of the show on regular commercial TV, but you don't need to "kill time". Record the shows and then skip the commercials. Jeez, people have been doing it for DECADES.

          (Apropos of the death of Peter Falk, there was a Columbo episode guest starring William Shatner in the 1970s where a reel-to-reel videotape recorder was involved in the murderer's scheme...)

    • by cwtrex (912286)

      If they just put in more ads, I'll be using the commercials for longer breaks outside of the room while the commercials play.

      If, however, they allow me to better express my interests so that the commercials they display actually appeal to me, I might actually watch them without any hint of annoyance.

      • by tepples (727027)

        If they just put in more ads, I'll be using the commercials for longer breaks outside of the room while the commercials play.

        Then they'll randomize how long the ad breaks are to increase the likelihood that you'll miss part of the show: 30 seconds in one part, 90 in another, three minutes in yet another.

  • by SilverHatHacker (1381259) on Friday June 24, 2011 @11:51AM (#36557058)
    I live in Canada, you insensitive clod! I haven't cared about Hulu for years!
    • by kent_eh (543303)
      And neither have they cared about us.

      (repeat for every country in the world that isn't the USA)
  • As hulu gets worse, it gets easier to do something else.

    • Re:Good News For Me (Score:4, Informative)

      by 1u3hr (530656) on Friday June 24, 2011 @12:11PM (#36557382)
      And me. I don't complain they won't let me stream full shows, I have other ways to do that. I do get really pissed off when various TV and movie news sites have previews and interviews and all I can see is a big FUCK OFF FOREIGN LEECH message from Hulu, and I have to search to see if it's been copied by someone to YouTube. If Hulu becomes even more limited then news sites wouldn't use it by default.
    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      Like it's so hard to find free, pirated TV shows streaming on the web today? I'm not sure how it could get any easier.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday June 24, 2011 @11:51AM (#36557072)

    Oh no! Our new product idea is too popular that it going into our core business. Lets dump it so we can kill it at someone else expense.

    I don't think many really like Broadcast TV but they just like the shows. Cable was popular because back in the days because you paid for the service you got commercial free content, then reduced commercial, as well more stations to choose from.
    Now they have often more commercials then broadcast TV, there are more channels however most of them are duplicates to each other. Standard, HD, Digital Standard, Digital HD. Or things Discovery 1 2 3 4 which the higher number has the same show that number seasons back. It has became a complete mess.

    I have Basic Basic Cable (Broadcast stations that come in clear and 2 or 3 cable stations $10 per month) and Internet threw my cable company. Then I use Netflix for the rest.

    • Too successful, so let's sell it and kill it. The whole cable model needs to die, there's no reason to subscribe to hundreds of channels when the technology is in place to stream only the shows you want. I can see having a few sports channels for live events for sports junkies, but give those of us who don't watch sports 24/7 the option to stream the few events we want to watch for cheap. My cable set up is the same: minimum basic, most of what I watch is on Netflix. I tried DSL for a while, but the pe
      • by cdrguru (88047)

        Ah, but the technology isn't there for everyone. Only a select few. Once IP TV gets beyond an early adopter stage it is doomed because the systems for delivering Internet content simply can't handle sending even 1 or 2 Mbps streams to every single house off the same DSLAM or neighborhood node.

        I bought 3 Roku boxes for different locations and I figure they are good for a maximum of 2-3 years at which point the whole "streaming" thing is going to end. Because the network capacity simply isn't there.

        Broadca

        • "Once IP TV gets beyond an early adopter stage it is doomed because the systems for delivering Internet content simply can't handle sending even 1 or 2 Mbps streams to every single house off the same DSLAM or neighborhood node."

          Yes, that certainly presents challenges, but I don't think they're insurmountable. Bandwidth gets cheaper every year, despite what your ISP tells you.
        • Ah, but the technology isn't there for everyone. Only a select few. Once IP TV gets beyond an early adopter stage it is doomed because the systems for delivering Internet content simply can't handle sending even 1 or 2 Mbps streams to every single house off the same DSLAM or neighborhood node.

          You mean that DSLAM that Verizon installed back in 2001? Yes, but that problem has a fix.

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        The whole cable model needs to die, there's no reason to subscribe to hundreds of channels when the technology is in place to stream only the shows you want.

        But you're being a hypocrite. The netflix model is analogous to the cable model.

        You are paying ONE price for netflix, to watch a variety of content, as much as you can/want to watch in a month, on a whole bunch of different "channels" (different shows/movies, whether via DVDs or streamed). You're paying for access to a whole bunch of content you don'

        • by mattack2 (1165421)

          BTW, I say this as a huge netflix fan. I too would prefer to pay for only the shows I want -- if the price were reasonable. (Even $1/episode is at least an order of magnitude too high for the vast majority of shows, especially since for things that come out on DVD, they're usually less than that in season sets eventually, and that's for a higher quality copy I get to keep.)

          But as for now, the "all you can eat" model seems more of a value, even though it is like the cable model. (I use "seems" appropriate

        • Another would be to pay a monthly fee to have access to all the content owned by a particular "channel", as per Netflix. I'd like to have the option to do either.

          By the way, welcome to the internet, and try to go easy on the name calling, it really doesn't add to the discussion.
          • by mattack2 (1165421)

            How was I name calling? I mentioned hypocrisy, which was a fact in this situation (and I point out my own hypocrisy too).

    • I don't think many really like Broadcast TV but they just like the shows. Cable was popular because back in the days because you paid for the service you got commercial free content, then reduced commercial, as well more stations to choose from.
      Now they have often more commercials then broadcast TV, there are more channels however most of them are duplicates to each other. Standard, HD, Digital Standard, Digital HD. Or things Discovery 1 2 3 4 which the higher number has the same show that number seasons back. It has became a complete mess.

      Exactly.

      I was thrilled when we first got cable. It was great. All the same programming, none of the commercials.

      Then they started adding commercials... But they were also adding channels... So it was OK. But not great.

      Now... Meh. Tons of re-runs. Tons of duplicate programming. Channels that used to be interesting are now just more of the same (like SyFy).

      There's a reason why services like Netflix and Hulu are popular. There's a reason why everyone loves their DVR.

  • Why would I pay for a another service that makes me watch advertisements after I've already paid? Do people not realize how ridiculous that is?
    • by nomadic (141991)
      It's only ridiculous if you truly believe that your $8 a month, even aggregated with everyone else's $8 a month, covers the entire cost of Hulu's operations, including the cost to obtain the content you're watching. Which, honestly, is ridiculous itself.
  • When I first found hulu, I thought: 'Its about damn time' but then, after using it for a slight amount of time, I realized it pretty much sucked. Sure you can watch shows ... with ads ... but if you want to watch it anywhere other than a PC you gotta pay ... and if you want a queue ... you gotta pay ... and if you want XXX ... gotta be a Hulu plus member ... and YOU STILL HAVE TO WATCH ADS.

    Then there are the times when you get redirected to the content producers website ... with a completely different fla

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      There is nothing preventing you from hooking an HDMI cable from your computer to your TV. Sure you might have to run it through a wall, but you can do it or pay less than a couple hundred to have someone do it.

      I laugh when hulu says that this is not available on TVs, since I always see that on my TV which as it is just being used as a monitor for my ps3 and PC.

      I would pay for hulu plus, if it dropped ads. I would also pay for cable if it dropped ads. At this point I will just stick with netflix and not payi

      • Another option are services like PlayOn that stream it through your DNLA device over your wireless network. Works great for us and no need to buy Hulu+.
      • There is nothing preventing you from hooking an HDMI cable from your computer to your TV. Sure you might have to run it through a wall, but you can do it or pay less than a couple hundred to have someone do it.

        "Less than a couple hundred"? If the initial outlay is a lot more than one month's cable TV bill, the general public isn't going to feel like doing it. Besides, the companies offering the service of running HDMI through a wall don't seem to advertise in my area; without advertisement, the general public isn't going to know that such a service exists.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Go to bestbuy, ask.
          Call any electrician, ask.

          The people you are talking about probably like commercials, I don't care about them.

          • Go to bestbuy, ask.
            Call any electrician, ask.

            How would somebody learn in the first place that HDMI from PC to a TV through a wall is 1. possible and 2. available from Best Buy or an electrician? Most people I've talked to don't seem to be aware that both PCs and TVs can use HDMI. To them, computers are computers, and TVs are TVs, and never the twain shall meet.

            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              Oh well, too bad for them. They could use google I guess. If they are so uninterested in the world around them that is the price they pay.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Actually you don't have to even run a wire anymore, just Google "wireless HDMI" and you'll find they have a nice cheap little device that will let you stream wireless from the HDMI out on your PC to the TV. That said PCs are so damned cheap now you can build a nice triple for $200, add in another $100 for a capture card and to kick in with a couple of friends for the Win 7 HP family pack and you have a nice dedicated TV box for dirt cheap.

        I've had several customers just have me build them a nice cheap AMD

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      I hate cbs.com's bandwidth autodetect... The process of loading the Flash player causes a CPU spike right when it's running, causing a false low reading on a consistent basis.

      Unlike other sites, there is NO way to override it.

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      Instead I watch whatever one scifi decided to air this week ... without the commercials ...

      You do realize you're not seeing the entire episode then, right? When shows are syndicated/rerun, the entire episode that was originally aired DOES NOT AIR. They cut out MANY minutes of programming (the older the show, the more is cut out).

      *Usually*, the DVDs (and I hope streaming) are uncut episodes. There are exceptions to that though -- I have read about cases where the syndicated cuts were used for some seaso

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Question: What software are you using to strip out the commercials, or are you just converting them as clips and then re-integrating them? Because I too after seeing Hulu turn sucktastic just use Win 7 MCE to record off my cable via my capture card but I haven't found any good software for ripping out commercials.

      But you think sooner or later the content providers would be hit by the clue stick like the music companies with iTunes, but nope, they just gotta take a big old dump on anything they can't literal

  • by cshark (673578)

    I bet it sells for more than myspace does.

  • by odin84gk (1162545) on Friday June 24, 2011 @12:08PM (#36557326)

    I HATE ads. HATE.

    I am willing to pay more for ad-free TV. Hulu seemed like the perfect platform, but they wouldn't shut up and take my money. Cable companies offer DVR's for an extra $5 to $10 a month, which seems equivalent to paying for TV without ads.Why can't Hulu do the same? I never did Hulu+ because it still contained ads.

    Businesses are so focused on selling ads that they forget about just using paid subscriptions. Sure, ads provide income above and beyond the subscription, but if you are trying to grow, you need to offer something better than what everyone else does.

    Life is too short to spend it watching ads. That is why I love watching old shows using Netflix.

    • by acoustix (123925)

      I HATE ads. HATE.

      Cable companies offer DVR's for an extra $5 to $10 a month, which seems equivalent to paying for TV without ads.

      I would agree, except that the the DVR menus commonly have advertisements in them. So in reality you're still paying to receive advertisements.

      • If you live near a densely populated area, you could ditch the cable, get over-the-air HDTV, and use a do-it-yourself timeshifting solution using a PC. Combined with Netflix, you'd be golden. If I lived alone, this is what I would do.

    • I am willing to pay more for ad-free TV.

      Ad-free TV doesn't exist. Often the shows themselves either have product placement or are flagrant ads in the first place (e.g. any kids' show). And if by ads you just mean interruptions, there are always season box sets on DVD, which lack interruptions.

    • by jafac (1449)

      The cable Hulu does not do the same (offer premium ad-free service for additional fee) BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE TO.

      There is no meaningful competition. Other than Netflix - which is going away. (I guarantee it.)

      Now that ISP's are free to bandwidth cap, I give Netflix perhaps 3 years. Tops.

      (remember, we used to have Cable+Tivo - then the cable companies neutered Tivo so that we could no longer skip ads, then they came out with their own DVR's so that you get ads within the DVR experience anyway; without the

  • I have no clue if they're interested, but I hope Google buys it. I like Hulu and I like Google. And, Google has done a decent job with YouTube.
    • I thought Google was already going with their GoogleTV offering.

      • by SeaFox (739806)

        GoogleTV doesn't really host anything, though. It's more a fancy search engine to TV content already available on the Net, which is why sites are blocking connections from GoogleTV clients. Hulu actually has the shows and the blessing of the studios to show them. Completely different services.

      • by Randwulf (997659)
        They are, but I don't how well that is going. Barely any buzz about it (as far as I can tell), and from what I've seen the hardware is pricey. Hulu, on the other hand, is popular and users don't need to spend a few hundred dollars to use it.
  • Less TV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PickyH3D (680158) on Friday June 24, 2011 @12:10PM (#36557368)

    You know, I really like Hulu, but one thing that the cable companies seem to ignore is the ability for people to simply not watch TV.

    I am in the growing minority of people that actually do not have a TV service (cable nor satellite) because I find comfort in paying about $10 and getting Netflix while paying nothing and getting a lot of ad-supported content on Hulu.

    I do not pirate whatsoever, so I literally only use those services to watch video on demand (although I do buy the occasional DVD and TV series, albeit quite rarely).

    These media companies can get me with the ads. Hulu usually even has pretty high quality ones, even if there are two of them where there used to be one. I can live with that. However, I will not pay to have that experience. They did not earn any reason to allow them to double dip.

    Now, I wonder how long before this minority starts to grow into such a size that it actually stands out to them. Because the days of charging a monthly, randomly growing amount of money to sell a couple of hundred channels when the person only wants maybe 10 and most of the time it is garbage anyway (how many times do people go channel surfing to try and find something?). I honestly hope that more people start doing what I am doing to force those businesses to start lowering their prices to bring people back.

    After all, if they charged consistent, reasonable rates, then this post probably wouldn't even exist. I can afford their plans. I, like many people, just don't feel like the value justifies the cost.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Indeed. All I watch is the PBS NewsHour, Daily Show & Colbert, and the first half of Conan. PBS NewsHour is free, so that leaves about an hour (sans commercials) of actual paid programming I want to watch. On top of that, they're only on 4 times a week.

      Roughly, that's 16 hours of programming for oh $50. That's just not reasonable. If cable TV can deliver 50 channels of programming 24/7 for $50 a month, I should be able to get 1 hour of programming for less than a buck. Much, much less than a buck.

    • I am in the growing minority of people that actually do not have a TV service (cable nor satellite) because I find comfort in paying about $10 and getting Netflix

      Good for you. Have you a solution for some of the households in my extended family? One household ("Y") has someone who likes to turn on MSNBC while doing housework; the other ("G") has a fan of NHL hockey and NCAA and NFL football.

      • by gottabeme (590848)

        I recommend Y tries listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks instead of MSNBC. No doubt someone would feel better about life and the world if someone wasn't fed a constant stream of stress-inducing, breathless, bad news. Hey, someone can listen to whatever someone wants--it's a free country--but that's my suggestion.

        As for sports, well, watching less of it probably wouldn't hurt--could it be considered an addiction to some extent? Doesn't the NHL have games online, though? The NCAA and NFL are just a

      • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27559165/ns/msnbc_tv/t/watch-msnbc-tv-live/ [msn.com] for the first one. I think TSN also has a streaming service (possibly paid, but probably cheaper than cable/ppv).
        • I clicked play and waited at least a minute for "NBC NEWS: your video is loading" to go away. Then I scrolled and saw that it's available only from 10 AM to 3 PM, which doesn't cover the time when Y is at home to watch. Most notably, these time slots don't include Morning Joe, Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, or The Rachel Maddow Show.

          I think TSN also has a streaming service (possibly paid, but probably cheaper than cable/ppv).

          I searched Google for TSN and got this [www.tsn.ca]. I clicked "NHL Draft Live Streaming" and got this [www.tsn.ca]. I sat through the ad and got "Sorry, there was a

  • Hulu was born with a fault line running through its foundation : It was owned by major content owners. Yes, that means it gets good terms on content (and, can make deals at all). Yes, it means it gets free advertising on major networks. However, its owners don't really want it to succeed. They view it as a fundamental threat.

    Under a new owner, Hulu would likely shrink dramatically (less content, less advertising). However, it will be free to innovate, which is probably necessary for its long term survival.

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