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Hulu To Require Viewers To Have Cable Subscriptions 648

Posted by Soulskill
from the nice-knowing-you dept.
The NY Post reports that Hulu, the video streaming service with over 30 million users, has plans to force those users to prove they have a subscription to cable or satellite TV if they want to keep watching. Quoting: "The move toward authentication is fueled by cable companies and networks looking to protect and profit from their content. The effort comes as entertainment companies continue to face drastic shifts in home viewing habits. Overall spending on home entertainment edged up 2.5 percent to $4.45 billion in the first quarter as a surge in digital streaming — which rose more than fivefold to $549 million — offset a continuing collapse in video rentals, according to Digital Entertainment Group. ... Hulu racked up some $420 million in ad revenue last year and is expected to do well in this year’s ad negotiations. But the move toward authentication, which could take years to complete, will make cable companies happy because it could slow cord-cutting by making cable subscribing more attractive."
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Hulu To Require Viewers To Have Cable Subscriptions

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  • In that case... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ajpuciat (2553090) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:21PM (#39850439)
    USENET it is.
    • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:23PM (#39850465)

      Of all the options available, the one we hate the most and absolutely will not do under any circumstances is give the consumers what they actually want and will happily pay for.

      • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ezweave (584517) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:39PM (#39850709) Homepage

        I know. I'd even be okay with buying episodes of shows as they air, not to coincide with some poorly done DVD release (hello, HBO) if they exist at all. In lieu of sane options, piracy is all that's left.

        The cabal of advertisers, cable companies, and television networks are all so worried about losing viewers that they've decided to strap their sinking ships together. Because that's a grand idea. It worked very well for the music industry. Who wants to rock out to my Nickelback CDs? After that we can watch a movie on my DIVX (not DivX http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIVX [wikipedia.org]) player!

        • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

          by lgw (121541) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:46PM (#39850819) Journal

          Or Netflix streaming, which while it has spotty coverage it will still have higher than 0% of recent shows.

          Nothing will ever get me to subscribe to cable again guys. Sell me your content in some sane way on the internet and I'll pay, but never a cable subscription.

          • Re:Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:50PM (#39850893) Homepage Journal

            Nothing will ever get me to subscribe to cable again guys.

            Amen to that.

            • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

              by justin12345 (846440) on Monday April 30, 2012 @09:28PM (#39853495)
              Seconded.

              I actually have cable, but it's not hooked up to anything. It comes included in the cost of the condo I rent. All I'd need to do is buy a TV to watch it on. And still, HELL NO.

              This isn't to say that I don't watch TV, I actually have an HD projector with a 10 foot screen, surround sound, the whole bit. I do all my watching on Hulu, Netflix, or iTunes. Why? Because using those services I have to go online, actually select what I want to see, and make an active decision to watch it. So I only wind up watching one or two hours of TV a day.

              The moment TV starts getting pumped in, one hundred channels of barely watchable crap, my wife is going to flip it on the second she gets home. Then I'll have the constant buzz of HGTV, The Food Network, or worse some stupid reality show. No one will even actively be watching, but with all that damn noise only a button press away, it'll get turned on.

              If Hulu does this, it's back to piracy.
          • Line fees (Score:5, Insightful)

            by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:02PM (#39851023) Homepage Journal

            Nothing will ever get me to subscribe to cable again guys.

            Not even if a DOCSIS ISP were to bundle a free TV subscription with all home Internet plans? The "line fees" that DOCSIS and DSL ISPs charge for not bundling the ISP's other services are close to this.

          • Re:Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:24PM (#39851325) Journal

            No mod points to give (and I wish it went above five at times like this).

            Two months ago, I gave Comcast the ol' heave-ho in favor of a far, far cheaper ($100 less per month cheaper) satellite+DSL subscription package. I get more channels, a far more reliable connection (speed? whatever... my 6Mbps DSL line gets me downloads way faster than Comcast's forged-RST and oversubscribed-DOCSIS 'product' could ever hope to give.)

            Let's just say that I'd rather masturbate to a nudie pic of Rosie O'Donnell with a fistful of broken glass soaked in gasoline, than to even think of giving money to those fucktards... ever.

            If Hulu demands that I get a cable sub, Hulu simply won't be visited by any computer here.

            Besides, speaking of which, how exactly does Hulu intend to compete with the cableco's own online/streaming features? It's like buddying up to a ravenous tiger in the hopes that you'll be eaten last or something.

          • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

            by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday April 30, 2012 @06:38PM (#39852039) Journal

            Lucky bastard. In my area its $119 a month for the cable bundle (phone, TV and 20Mbps Internet) or $70 for DSL which if you are lucky and its a good day gets 3Mbps. Oh and it costs $16 per month more if you do NOT want the TV, just the net and phone! Of course their phone doesn't count against the cap while someone else's VoIP would so you can't save any money there either.

            lets face it, as long as most of America is lucky if they have a duopoly and the DoJ has no teeth frankly they can do whatever they want. Thanks to caps all they have to do to "steer' your behavior is offer their own services cap free while everybody else gets the cap. That's the problem with lack of competition, you do it their way or you do without, simple as that.

        • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

          by iamhassi (659463) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:05PM (#39851057) Journal

          I know. I'd even be okay with buying episodes of shows as they air, not to coincide with some poorly done DVD release (hello, HBO) if they exist at all. In lieu of sane options, piracy is all that's left.

          The cabal of advertisers, cable companies, and television networks are all so worried about losing viewers that they've decided to strap their sinking ships together. Because that's a grand idea. It worked very well for the music industry.

          it's.... it's almost like.... they don't *want* our money, like they see the new technology and say... no, we refuse to be compatible with your phone and laptop and tablet and etc, will you please just give us money and we won't give you what you want? How does that make any sense at all?

          Me: Excuse me waiter! I'll have a steak
          Waiter: very good sir, steaming pile of crap coming up!
          Me: Um, no, I said I would like a steak
          Waiter: that's fine sir, but all we serve is steaming piles of crap. No one wants it, but that's what we give them and you'll pay us for it!
          Me: Uh..... I think I'll go somewhere else.... there's a nice new torrent restaurant across the street that gives me what I want and costs a lot less
          Waiter: No! That's.... not right! You can't do that! We'll.... we'll.... we will sue you!
          Me: Really? Everyone? You're going to sue everyone that doesn't buy steaming piles of crap from you? Good luck with that!

          • Re:Of course (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2012 @07:14PM (#39852403)

            It's more like walking into a restaurant for a steak, and them saying, "Ok, for $5 you can have potato chips. For $10 you can have potato chips and some candy. For $15 you get potato chips, candy, and some salad. For $35 you get potato chips, candy, salad, and fish. For $50 you can have potato chips, candy, salad, fish and some steak. Oh, you just want steak? No, you can't have that."

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Hulu was doomed from the moment Comcast purchased NBC Universal (which jointly owns hulu). It used to be a way for networks to get around cable companies. Now it is a cable company.

        • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Tr3vin (1220548) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:32PM (#39851439)
          You could always not watch the shows. I like how going without entertainment from a broken industry is never an option.
          • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

            by pla (258480) on Monday April 30, 2012 @06:54PM (#39852185) Journal
            You could always not watch the shows. I like how going without entertainment from a broken industry is never an option.

            I know, right? We could all just sit in the middle of an empty living-room and meditate on the mysteries of pocket lint. Silly humans, wanting entertainment when we have paint drying and grass growing all around us!

            Seriously. I watch under two hours of TV (NetFlix, actually) per week, and I still have to consider your position nothing but a parody of itself. Yes, I have a million better things to do; but on a cold rainy Saturday, wasting the afternoon on some Hollywood fluff beats getting stoned and licking 9V batteries.

            The problem comes from Hollywood expecting me to either:
            Pay over $100 per month to watch their crap broken into twelve-minute chunks with three minutes of revenue-generation between segments, or
            Pay more than my hourly income for the privilege of getting a shiny plastic disc as a memento of the experience of wasting an afternoon.

            What can I say, other than Thank Zeus for NetFlix and... Oh, wait, I guess I can no longer say "and Hulu". Case in point.
            • Re:Of course (Score:4, Interesting)

              by mrmeval (662166) <`mrmeval' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday April 30, 2012 @09:20PM (#39853437) Journal

              Have your child play what they've rehearsed over the weekend on Monday, have a nice dinner, then help the kids with the homework then read them a book off gutenburg (well now that they've *ked downloading ebooks, go to one of the scabsites).

              On Tuesday you play a card game the copyright died on a millennium ago or one you just made up, have a nice dinner, help the kids wash the cat/dog or rats to much squealing, dinner is pizza, homework if any.

              On Wednesday you play a board game, maybe one you bought at a garage sale when Gygax was still alive, dinner, homework

              On Thursday you have music appreciation played off of digitized no longer copyrighted works, dinner and homework

              On Friday take the kids out bowling and a little fast food.

              On Sat relax and rehearse for Monday

              On Sunday rest

            • by ChatHuant (801522) on Monday April 30, 2012 @11:46PM (#39854227)

              I know, right? We could all just sit in the middle of an empty living-room and meditate on the mysteries of pocket lint. Silly humans, wanting entertainment when we have paint drying and grass growing all around us!
               

              So true, because, as everybody knows, TV is the only possible form of entertainment. One feels so sorry about all the people who lived before TV was invented the invention of TV, and had to watch pocket lint competitions LIVE!.

      • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:17PM (#39851239) Journal
        That's why I have no issue with pirating movies. And it's why I in a rare occurrence fully agreed with the stance of the (Dutch) Green Left party: Not to prosecute (or allow to be prosecuted) private downloaders of movies, until the industry gives us a sane legal option.

        Just look at the music industry. It's by no means perfect, but iTunes music is reasonably priced (especially compared to the price level of physical albums in NL), and I can get the songs out of iTunes and onto some other medium if I want to. Add to that a Spotify account that comes free with my internet hookup, and I have plenty of legal ways to get my music. The result? I spend more than in the days of physical CDs, and I get a lot more then I would have gotten before... and I haven't looked at illegal music downloads in ages.
      • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:30PM (#39851407)

        I wonder if NBC/comcast is trying to kill hulu on purpose. Really. This idea is about as brainless as my "Fantasy & Science" magazine saying, "If you want our discounted $11.88 e-book version, you also must subscribe to the print version for $35.99. Sorry." It's almost genius in its malevolence.

        (1) NBC/comcast doesn't want people dropping CATV.

        (2) NBC/comcast doesn't want people streaming over the net, as it overloads their networks (they claim).

        (3) NBC/comcast wants people to watch THEIR streaming video service, not other video services.

        Therefore it makes logical sense they would want Hulu to cease to exist through making policies that would scare-off customers. If ever there were grounds for a Sherman Antitrust Lawsuit, these are it. But of course it will never happen as long as Comcast/Hollywood's best friend Obama and his copyright czar is in the white house. (I doubt Romney would bother either.)

      • Andy says... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by flyneye (84093) on Monday April 30, 2012 @07:09PM (#39852349) Homepage

        In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.
        Youtube is a rudimentary fullfillment of that prophesy.
        The lack of need for a music industry is killing the current parasite. Music and musicians adapt fine and all is well. No need to panic.
        The lack of need for pregurgitated propagandii perpitrated perpetually program pandering pustules we call the media, our enemy, will
        give way to population perfected programming particularly presented palatable personas propheting pandemic.
        Thufferin' Thuccothash! Did I Thpit on you? Here's a hanky.
          That's right, the internet and computers blur the need for several old school things. Newspapers? Magazines? Blogs are certainly evolving faster than their predecessors and outpacing them in some cases.
        Now we have YouTube, Open source movies, open source animation, individuals, film students and everything in between. Individuals broadcast live programs both video and audio. More and more power has come to the individual and now that we're all a networked audience, the worlds a stage that frees us from the constraints of a parasitic dangerous tool of government and special interest.
        Well ding,dong the witch is dead! 25 years and no one will care about the burnt out crack neighborhood they call Hollywood.
        I personally welcome ourselves as overlords.
        'Cause cable/satellite/broadcast and the studios that fill them all eat where they sh*t and no one is amused, let alone fascinated with anything but the fewer and farer between techo-breakthroughs. Internet killed the media star.
                  Personally if the world took over reporting the news, just generally, the average Joe is already someone I'd rather give the time of day than the inhuman swine genetically attracted to the film/tv/music industry.
        Another story near this asks if we are still evolving. I think we may be, electronically, artificially, as a networked human race be on to something here.

    • by X0563511 (793323) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:47PM (#39850837) Homepage Journal

      Hilariously my favorite usenet provider only wants a few dollars more a month than Hulu Plus was.

      Guess who's getting my cash, now!?

    • Re:In that case... (Score:5, Informative)

      by TehDuffman (987864) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:06PM (#39851069) Journal

      USENET it is.

      Usenet
      Sabnzbd
      SickBeard
      CouchPotato
      XBMC - Or other HTPC

      If you can get these 5 things working together (it isn't hard trust me) you never need cable again (unless you're a sports fan which I am). Completely automated, maxes out your internet connection and can be completely SSL. All for around $10-15 a month.

      • Re:In that case... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Junta (36770) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:21PM (#39851277)

        The tragedy is that as great as all that you propose is, it's very much illegal and truly isn't fair to the content producers.

        It's a real damn shame too, the experience of that sort of content is many times more pleasant than any legitimate means of acquiring said content. No streaming restrictions limiting the bitrate of the quality or incuring significant buffering times. No DRM to mysteriously cock up somewhere in the line and erroneously or intentionally block legitimate use. No juggling of optical discs to watch the specific content you want....

        If I could have a solution analagous to Amazon or iTunes mp3 situation, I'd be all over it in a heartbeat. Alas, the studios won't relent on the imaginary benefit of DRM.

        • Re:In that case... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Monday April 30, 2012 @10:26PM (#39853859)

          Unfortunately they did it to themselves. They refused to adapt to new technology, and as a result, they're playing whack-a-mole with legislation and treaties that do nothing for the widespread bootlegging in emerging markets. Instead of finding a way to monetize that and keep happy customers, they try to squeeze those of us who do pay and do play by the rules as if we're just "on the verge of being a dirty pirate" because we embrace technology and have an mp3 player and computer. (Really, is the Ukraine really a market where you want to charge $20 for a DVD? Where'd these idiots go to business school?)

          I used to feel a tinge of guilt when someone put up on a torrent a cammed version of a movie... now I just don't care. When I buy now, I buy used, since most of the movies I want to see are either out of print or not available in my region (as stupid as that sounds, why can't we get the Japanese versions of ALL the Godzilla movies, hmm? What the hell are they doing that keeps a "US version" and a "Japanese version" in separate regions? Not all Godzilla movies feature Raymond Burr to mask the nuclear holocaust warnings the originals had.) :)

          Anyway, I'm rambling. I like the Amazon mp3 store... there are some good sales and some great free compilations to get without DRM. Why is it movies and TV shows (that are broadcast without cost to the viewer) held under a lock and key that rivals the CDC's ebola wing? Because the people in charge are stupid. The people in charge of the government are stupid. The people electing them are stupid. The people running multinational corporations are stupid. The media conglomerates are chock full of stupid. Hell, the Justice Department is full of ex-media lawyers and RIAA goons for fuck's sake, what do we expect?

          I am done with movie theaters. I am done with new DVDs. If I can get it used, it's not worth watching. It costs less, and it doesn't give those rat bastards a penny who are fucking our technological lead in the ass. Honestly, this is all over something they could've solved 10 YEARS ago instead of litigating the planet into a cesspool of bullshit and draconian laws that outlaw everything this side of whistling. And by FSM, when they find a way to do that, you KNOW they will. Fuck lawyers, politicians, actors, and CEOs in the ass with big rubber dicks.

          I guess I am cynical, but I am tired of hearing their excuses... and I am tired of the lack of respect for the Public Domain (the very thing that made Disney billions....) Eh. I hope they all go bankrupt and take about 90% of the overpaid actors/actresses with them. Oh, and could someone please for the love of FSM, NUKE Barbara Streisand from orbit? It's the only way to be sure.

  • Bye bye Hulu! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:21PM (#39850441)

    I didn't really need you before, I sure don't need you now.

    Hello, Bittorrent!

  • no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cornface (900179) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:23PM (#39850467)

    This doesn't make cable subscriptions more attractive.

    All it does is make hulu less attractive than it already is.

    • Re:no. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mutewinter (688449) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:36PM (#39850659)
      If there was an article about me, it would be titled "X requires cable companies to put their shows online in order to watch."

      I thought I was going to have to keep cable and HBO to watch Game of Thrones. But I thought about it more, and I can wait a year in order to avoid writing and mailing a damn check every 30 days.

      Cable is dead. Avoid it for a month or two and when you return it feels like you are watching a video version of the spam inbox.
      • Re:no. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by BobNET (119675) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:56PM (#39850949)

        Rare non-xkcd, yet relevant comic: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones [theoatmeal.com]

        • by locopuyo (1433631)
          Don't worry, I'm sure the writers and everyone that matters get paid hourly or are salary anyways.
      • Re:no. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by batkiwi (137781) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:00PM (#39850993)

        Download it now, buy the blu rays or dvds when available.

        Legal? No. Moral? Yes, in my mind.

      • Re:no. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:01PM (#39851001)

        >>> Avoid it for a month or two and when you return it feels like you are watching a video version of the spam inbox.

        Agreed. I was "cutoff" from cable for about 2 years until I recently started traveling again. As I posted on facebook:
        Flip. Flip. Flip.
        Nothing on TV.
        Nothing all day long according to TV guide.

        Glad I don't spend $1000/year on this. My hotel has 70 channels and it's a vast wasteland of reality television that I find not the least bit entertaining (Deadliest Catch was interesting for about one season and that's it). Even SyFy Channel is turning into the reality channel. I wish they'd go back to what they were in the 90s, which was a source to find all those classic television shows people had forgotten, like Time Tunnel or U-fo or Dark Shadows. And also interesting "news" shows where they interviewed show creators, book authors, and provided previews of new movies.

        TNT still airs reruns of Angel, Charmed, Supernatural, and Law & Order... that may be the last good channel on the air. TCM of course is not on my cable system. :-(

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      P.S. This will "attract me" to zip through all my bookmarked Hulu shows as quickly as possible, before they install the CATV lockout. Screw paying for cable. I get 40+ channels free off the antenna and that's good enough.

      • Re:no. (Score:4, Informative)

        by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Monday April 30, 2012 @09:27PM (#39853491)

        You can also always get an HDHomeRun from SiliconDust, which is a HDTV->IP converter; one end plugs into an HD antenna, the other end into your network with ethernet. You can than pull the stream (two tuners) to an iPad, iPhone, VLC, or any other device/software that can read the IPTV stream. I put one in the datacenter I've got gear at ($60 purchase, free colo), bought my wife the iPad app for $4, and now she can watch TV on her iPad anywhere in the world (Chicago TV).

  • Two words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tmosley (996283) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:24PM (#39850473)
    Fuck that.
  • by SniperJoe (1984152) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:24PM (#39850477)
    Good luck with that Hulu. What's next, is CNN.com going to force me to prove I have cable before reading their site? Hulu, people gladly watch your content with ads and you buckled to the cable providers, torpedoing your independence.
  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by christurkel (520220) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:24PM (#39850481) Homepage Journal
    It won't slow "cord cutting" to make cable subscriptions more attractive, it'll just lead to people not using Hulu,
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dunnomattic (2590531)

      It won't slow "cord cutting" to make cable subscriptions more attractive, it'll just lead to people not using Hulu,

      I 100% agree. I've had Comcast service for the last 2 years after moving out to the fringe. Last month, after three iterations of the "discount-expires / I-cancel / Comcast-reoffers-discount / I-reneg" charade, I cut the cord. The mental exercise of remembering the offer's expiration date and then rehashing that cycle totally overshadowed what was my already dwindling viewership. Aside from "Walking Dead", the only other channel I hit was Discovery -- and even then maybe twice a week. Netflix Instant W

  • If it happens.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ross549 (901130) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:24PM (#39850489)
    I will cancel and not look back. Thanks Hulu, for making sure I will use bittorrent to get my content.
  • Not related (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:25PM (#39850493)

    Totally not related to those same ISPs moving to cut people off from the internet with some special new method of piracy detection and enforcement that is extrajudicial... and being implimented only a few months from now.

    It's not like this is coordinated or anything. Collusion doesn't exist. Enhance your calm, Citizen.

  • Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:25PM (#39850497) Journal

    Just when you think even some branch of the industry gets it, they demonstrate they don't. It's hard to think of an industry more dedicated towards giving customers what they don't want, and doing everything in their power to make sure that more money slips through their fingers.

    You see, Congress, this is what happens when you try to legislate an extinct business model back to health. You don't get better companies, you don't protect jobs or an industry, you just get lazy, stupid dinosaurs who continue to fecklessly drive towards the chasm.

    • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:04PM (#39851039) Homepage

      No, they get it. They have an old business model that lets them lock you into paying $50 a month to watch the handful of shows that you like, in addition to the ad revenue. That business model also lets them schedule when you watch things, and try to push you into watching what they want you to watch. They've locked content to infrastructure, maintaining monopolies on distribution channels.

      Technology is dismantling their control, and they don't like it. Once they're lost control, you'll pay less money and have a lot more control over your viewing habits. They don't know whether they can stop the march of progress, but they know they can use their market position and their lobbyists to slow progress. They can hold onto their kingdom for a few more years, at least, and they're going to do that.

  • by SecurityTheatre (2427858) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:25PM (#39850499)

    They do realize that people use Hulu because they do not want to buy cable at home.

    It's pretty simple.

    I know a lot of people who pay for Hulu and would probably pay more.

    But they won't buy cable to watch Hulu. Not a chance. They'll take their business elsewhere.

    Oh, well. If they are strict about this authentication, a number of people will simply find a new competitor of theirs. No big loss (except to the cable companies)

  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:25PM (#39850505) Homepage

    People use Hulu because I don't have cable. Isn't that the point?

    The move toward authentication is fueled by cable companies and networks looking to protect and profit from their content.

    It seems that allowing cable companies to purchase content providers wasn't a good idea after all. Oh wait, that's what everyone except the FCC said already.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:34PM (#39850627)

      People use Hulu because I don't have cable.

      I don't know about anyone else... but I use Hulu and I had no idea whether or not you had cable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

      It seems that allowing cable companies to purchase content providers wasn't a good idea after all. Oh wait, that's what everyone except the FCC said already.

      The point of the FCC* is to protect the business models of the incumbents from the free market. They pay well for that. What else would you expect, allowing competition?

      * substitute your favorite government agency

  • by compro01 (777531) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:26PM (#39850511)

    What exactly do you expect from a company 1/3rd owned by Comcast, with the other 2/3rds being Fox and Disney.

    • by zAPPzAPP (1207370)

      I would expect them to use their cable services to get money from the people who want cable and then use Hulu to make even more money from all the other people who don't want cable.

      But maybe that makes too much sense to be a valid business model.

  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:30PM (#39850565) Homepage Journal

    Sorry Hulu, but you can go get stuffed.

    I cut the cable 3 years ago to go with OTA Digital TV + TIVO, Netflix with iTMS subscriptions for the shows like Daily+Colbert that fell through the cracks.
    Considering I get the shows you offer with ads in HD over the air WITHOUT CABLE gives me no reason to use your service, especially now that you've joined the Cable TV Cabal -- which is predicted to start charging $200/month in the years ahead.

    Nothing, not even an Obama Mandate REQUIRING me to buy from a Federally Sanctioned Media Provider will ever get me to pay a dime to Comcast, AT&T, Verizon or their ILK.

  • by ichthus (72442) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:30PM (#39850573) Homepage
    After reading TFA (well, CTRL+F plus), it's not clear whether this will be for the free Hulu online, or just Plus subscribers. I currently use the XBMC Hulu plugin, and I'd hate to think that will go away as a result.
  • by misfit815 (875442) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:30PM (#39850581)

    I dropped my cable TV subscription over a year ago, and went with OTA only. This happened wen the cable company forced us to use one of their receivers for each of our four wall-mounted TV's. No thanks. Kept my cable modem, of course.

    I've been very happy with it, except for one exception - NBC Sports Network (was Versus) exercised an option in their contract with IndyCar (practically the same day I dropped Comcast, I might add), which took away just about all online streaming. Since I don't get cable, I don't get NBCSN. So I'll be watching yesterday's race tonight via a torrent.

    I'm also a very heavy user of Netflix. I love it. My wife and I are watching Battlestar Galactica now - we never saw it while it aired. We're making our way through the series at our pace. I also tend to turn on Top Gear or old Twilight Zone episodes when I want background noise.

    My point is that I've adjusted very nicely to not having cable or a dish. I like it a lot. They're only going to manage to frustrate people like me with this move. I'm not going back, so they're really not helping themselves any.

  • by T Murphy (1054674) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:35PM (#39850643) Journal
    We are really starting to reap the rewards of allowing content and distribution to merge together.
  • by sexconker (1179573) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:37PM (#39850683)

    I suspect this page will be filled with tons of "lol everyone will leave" comments.
    I left Hulu ages ago. The ads (and long pauses when I blocked them) became more obnoxious and numerous, the library of free content was shit or untimely (or both), and the premium content? Why would I pay for shit I already pay for on cable/Netflix (when I had it)/Amazon Prime?

    I haven't touched Hulu in ages and I bet they're counting me as one of the 30 million users.

    I watch enough shit (and want it now and in good quality) to justify a cable subscription (with HBO and some other craps).
    I order enough shit from Amazon to justify Prime (which comes with a shitty video service).
    I cut Netflix off long ago.

    Why would I pay for Hulu or put up with tons of ads alongside a shitty library, shitty quality, and release delays?
    The only way I would pay for Hulu is if I cut off my cable service. I see this as a viable option for many who don't have the same concerns/impatience as me.
    But if they want to require them to stump up a cable subscription on top of the cost of Hulu Plus / the annoyances of Hulu, they've got a big surprise coming.

    Of course, they've done the math and figured out that X% will leave and (1-X)% will stay. But I think some PHBs have been conned into believing a bullshit statistic of 30 million users. I couldn't name 2 people I know who use Hulu if you put a gun to my head.

  • by Shaterri (253660) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:39PM (#39850703)

    Everyone else on the net seems to point to the article in the NY Post (not exactly known for its careful fact-checking) and the Post article talks about Hulu 'taking its first steps' without a single mention of what those steps are. No other news stories I can find in the last several days talk about any changes occurring to Hulu's model (other than more original programming) or the Hulu user experience. So what the hell is the Post talking about, exactly? What evidence is there — beyond some editorial negative-wishcasting — that anything like this is going on?

    • by davidshewitt (1552163) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:48PM (#39851613)
      I looked on Hulu's Wikipedia page, and it said:

      Starting August 15, 2011, viewers of content from Fox and related networks will have to authenticate whether they subscribe to a paid cable or satellite service wherever Fox streams episodes, including Hulu, to be able to watch them the morning after the first airing. Non-subscribers will see those episodes delayed a week before they are viewable.

      The wikipedia article cites the following NY Times article. [nytimes.com] The source is more credible, and there's a big difference between "Hulu to Require Viewers To Have a Cable Subscription" and "Fox to Limit Next-Day Streaming on Hulu to Paying Cable Customers."

  • by jelwell (2152) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:40PM (#39850735)

    Can I login with my Over The Air Antenna information? Doh, I don't need a login to watch TV for free in my neighborhood. ;) I pay 0$ for network TV, how do I convince Hulu that paying nothing for TV is actually legitimate? My guess, I can't. It's bad enough that, the paid, Hulu Plus has less content than Hulu Free. Now there will be no such thing as Hulu Free. Hulu is on a path to self destruction - and just like Netflix these changes are likely out of their control - i.e. the content providers are forcing these changes with licensing restrictions.
    Joseph Elwell.

  • This is genius (Score:5, Informative)

    by Karmashock (2415832) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:42PM (#39850775)

    Hulu is getting harassed by the studios so they're either going to have to jack up their prices, eliminate content, or do something like proving you already pay.

    The the third option is actually brilliant. Think about it. How many of you know a friend or family member that will never use Hulu? How many of them have satellite or cable? At least one. So borrow their information to get access. It's not like they need it.

    This is genius. My estimation of the wisdom of Hulu just went up a notch. Millions of people without cable can very easy get the authentication information to claim they do. And then the studios are in the position of trying to cut off people that supposedly are already paying. Genius.

    • Re:This is genius (Score:5, Insightful)

      by compro01 (777531) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:55PM (#39850943)

      Hulu is getting harassed by the studios so they're either going to have to jack up their prices, eliminate content, or do something like proving you already pay.

      Harassed by the studios? They ARE the fucking studios!

      Hulu is wholly owned by NBCUniversal (who are 51% owned by Comcast), Fox, and Disney.

  • by ISurfTooMuch (1010305) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:43PM (#39850777)

    Don't think for a moment that these guys don't understand why people are using Hulu. This action today shows that they understand quite well. The cable companies are scared shitless that people will cancel and use Hulu instead, and that's why they're doing this.

    And yet, they don't get it. They seem to think that this scheme is going to stop people from dropping cable. In fact, all it's going to do is flush Hulu down the toilet. People will still drop cable, but they'll find alternatives to Hulu, both legal and illegal.

    You really have to hand it to the entertainment industry. These guys aren't afraid to walk up to their customers, spit in their faces, piss all over them, and then hand them a bill for the privilege. And I'd be willing to bet that the ONLY reason they don't hire Guido, Vinny, and Rocco to handle collections is because the lawyers told them that doing do is a liability issue.

    If I worked at Hulu, I'd be updating my resume about now.

  • by gstrickler (920733) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:44PM (#39850797)

    If corporations are people, then this is a suicide note from Hulu. I recommend mandatory confinement to a mental ward of a hospital for 72 hours of observation. Since Hulu, as a corporation is actually a gestalt entity of the board of directors and officers, they must all be placed in the same mental ward so that the gestalt entity can be observed.

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:47PM (#39850829) Journal

    The content industry might not have liked Hulu and they don't like like Netflix. They key point they are missing though is that Hulu + Netflix, found a price point and model that 20 and early thirty somethings found attractive.

    They are not going to back to shelling out $60/mo for cable tv. With the recession and jobs being hard to get post college many will never start. Screwing up Hulu from the inside and killing Netflix through starvation and rate jacking is rock dumb. The result we be segregating the market into people with too much money who buy things on iTunes and everyone else. Rather than extracting a few million form Netflix each quarter and enjoying nearly 100% profit from Hulu, they are instead going to get jack and shit when everyone goes back to warez, and boot legs.

    They days of pushing ($+50 CATV + (X * $12.99)) / mo are over you can't turn back the clock.

  • by rastoboy29 (807168) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:47PM (#39850845) Homepage
    They just...can't...give...up...trying to turn the internet into television.
  • InstaFail (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DaKong (150846) on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:57PM (#39850963)

    That's what I call that idea. Nothing will stop cord cutting. The reason is on-demand. A good friend of mine is the head of programming at a well-known cable channel. He tells me he has to run like crazy every day to try to not lose ground, but they're still losing ground because they can't compete with on-demand, anywhere entertainment that the Internet offers.

    If Hulu does this, they're only nuking their own business. Customers have already seen the future and it is Netflix. Yes, given the intransigence of the MPAA and Cable companies, there is an initial adjustment to the absence of the blockbuster titles. But then you discover the excellent content produced in other places around the world and the American stuff starts to look tedious.

    Since Starz channel picked up its ball and went home, I've discovered production values on Korean movies are just as high as here, and their plots are twisted and interesting. And Bollywood movies are pure fun. Bollywood! Who knew?

    I was thunderstruck the other day when my 3-yr old daughter saw a picture of Mickey Mouse somewhere and said, "Who's that?" She honestly had no idea. And it occurred to me that because Disney (and by extension the other MPAA and Cable players) have so locked away their content and have been so intransigent about getting with the times that they are running a real risk of rendering themselves culturally irrelevant. Think about what that also means about their ancillary revenue streams: my kids will never pester me to buy Disney toys or to take them to Disneyland. Disney has unwittingly saved me about $20K (over their lifetimes) that way.

    So go on, guys, do the world a favor and destroy Hulu, too. The rest of us will move on happily without you!

  • Counter-productive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wiedzmin (1269816) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:27PM (#39851357)
    That's like requiring all bus-pass purchasers to prove that they own an insured vehicle.
  • by Paul Slocum (598127) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:27PM (#39851361) Homepage Journal
    The article sounds sketchy and it's the NY Post [wikipedia.org]. I suspect this is being written as if you won't be able to use Hulu at all without cable in order to make it sensational, but it's probably just some marketing strategy Hulu is considering for specific shows. This [time.com] article calls it a "rumor".
  • by ffflala (793437) on Monday April 30, 2012 @06:00PM (#39851707)
    This is a rumor spread by "sources", as the NY Post helpfully explains. It looks like it's only a speculative rumor; it's certainly nothing official. I just got off the phone w/ Hulu customer service about this --if it were true, I would have immediately canceled my Hulu Plus subscription.

    While the customer support guy was not permitted to respond directly to claims in new stories, he said they hadn't heard of such a change, he'd be shocked if they did so, and would feel the same way about it that I did. It doesn't make much sense, as this would precisely eliminate the reason I bother to pay for Hulu Plus -- because I don't have, and will not buy, cable service. A move like this would do nothing to enhance Hulu's revenue, and would almost certainly eliminate a large part of their subscribers.

    If you're a Hulu Plus subscriber and you're actually concerned about it, call them yourself; 1-877-719-2773. No hold time, no phone tree; it goes directly to a human in customer service.
  • by paiute (550198) on Monday April 30, 2012 @06:07PM (#39851757)
    Oh yeah, it was when you needed to prove you owned a horse before you could buy an automobile.

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