Channeling Mikey: Hulu blaming its content partners is kind of like blaming its owners

Categories: Internet TV,New TV Technology

Written By

February 19th, 2009

Oh wait.  Hulu blaming its content partners isn't kinda like blaming its owners, it's exactly like blaming its owners!  While I believe Jason K at Hulu sincerely wishes his ultimate bosses would've gone in a different direction with the Boxee situation, spinning it off as content partner relations was a tad disingenuous on Jason's part.

"Mikey" is a frequent contributor via the comments and we share  a love of data, and a penchant for getting wound up whenever anyone reports the number of Internet streams delivered without reporting the corresponding minutes so true engagement can be measured.  He probably should have his own blog, but unfortunately (for us) he has a real job.  Here's the comment "Mikey" posted:

The post from Jason Dilar is disingenuous. It's ridiculous for him to refer to NBCU and News Corp. as Hulu's "content providers" when they OWN Hulu. He goes on to say that Hulu is "respecting their wishes" as if they had any choice in the matter. The post is written in such a way that it suggests Hulu is an independent entity. It isn't.

Also note the tone of many of the commentors, which is basically "don't these idiots realize that if we can't get this content the way we want it, we're just going to steal it?" So much for ethics! The mafia has got nothing on the average American consumer.

As for his comment about ethics I'm sort of torn.  My total bill for Comcast is over $150, but that includes Internet, the TV portion is ~$100 a month (includes DVR, HD,  HBO, etc).  I feel like if I am paying $100 a month, I ought to be able to watch any content available to me, whenever I want, however I want and everyone should be able to figure out how to get paid.

I'm sure if most homes in the US were paying $100/mo., they would get it figured out to the point where it would be fine for me to have Hulu on-demand right through my cable set top box.

This is another case of a broken model because the way my $100 is distributed, channels I never even watch get paid (and paid too much as far as I am concerned, since I never watch them!) and some channels I watch a lot (mainly the broadcast channels) don't get enough.  I don't know that I'm willing to go to "the average American is a thief!" yet, but I do sense a trend, especially among younger people of "if I have high speed Internet access, why should I ever pay for any content!?"    But if that really is a trend, it hasn't seemingly yet led to decreased production of  television content, but then again, there is all that unscripted programming like American Idol, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, and an hour of Leno in primetime starting next fall...

 
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