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Hulu For Sale: Is There Good News For Users?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the can-we-call-it-yahooloo dept.

Television 473

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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Licensing Fees (4, Informative)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556756)

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 (1)

Nemesisghost (1720424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556924)

I am going to have to agree. I see this as the end of one of the best innovations of modern entertainment. Instead of having 1 portal to watch most of the shows people enjoy, now we'll have to finding them on random webpages. I don't see how Hulu can be competitive if it has to pay the licensing fees. But at the same time, Hulu's level of service has begun to decline. They've stopped making a lot of shows available the day after they aired. Most are now 7-8 days after original air date. Some even worse than that with over a month delay. Even the amount of adds has increased, almost to the point where you get the same number of ads as you would if you watched it live.

Re:Licensing Fees (2)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557030)

"now we'll have to finding them on random webpages"

We're kind of there already. Hulu has evolved lately to shunt you off to other websites for many/most of its shows (so you land at cbs.com or comedycentral.com, etc., and wind up watching via different, lower-quality, proprietary players).

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

Phaeilo (1851394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557116)

(so you land at cbs.com or comedycentral.com, etc., and wind up watching via different, lower-quality, proprietary players).

Hulu stopped using Flash?

Re:Licensing Fees (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36557188)

(so you land at cbs.com or comedycentral.com, etc., and wind up watching via different, lower-quality, proprietary players).

Hulu stopped using Flash?

niggers ask stupid questions. are you a nigger? you are asking stupid questions just like a nigger.

i think a great big NIGGERDICK in your mouth will teach you to use google before asking stupid questions. if you are truly a nigger you may be able to reach your own NIGGERDICK.

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557840)

I don't think Flash runs on my Roku, and it certainly doesn't run on an AppleTV.

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#36558712)

Hulu doesn't run on AppleTV either.

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36558856)

That's true, you're right, unless you count airplay from an iPad etc.

Re:Licensing Fees (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557854)

I am going to have to agree. I see this as the end of one of the best innovations of modern entertainment. Instead of having 1 portal to watch most of the shows people enjoy, now we'll have to finding them on random webpages.

Or one [thepiratebay.org] web page that has everything no matter what show you want, where it aired and what country you're in. The TV industry is the last industry to pick up on the whole "globalization" thing.

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557982)

Yes, because people actually watch things on the Pirate Bay's web site :rolleyes:

Re:Licensing Fees (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557008)

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.

Re:Licensing Fees (2)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557776)

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.

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

Hillman (137883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36558132)

When you don't understand something, it's scary. I think this explains why the big media companies act this way.

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36558184)

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 ethical one. These aren't 50 year old works the studios are sitting on throug eternal copyright-- these are last month's episodes of Kitchen Nightmares, and they're entitled to whatever means they have to recoup their costs, including clearance and run schedules, and planned scarcity.

What's interesting is in the 1950s, the Supreme Court ruled that a movie theater company had to give access to all studios, and that they had to charge competitve rates and that studios/producers coudn't own movie theaters. So in the 80s, when cable tech got cheap enough, they just moved the "theater" to your living room, and now studios can own an entire integrated chain, from studios, to distribution, to ads, to cable company.

Re:Licensing Fees (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557034)

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 being charged to Hulu, and hulu making payments from its ad revenue, or it may be an accounting fiction of one flavor or another(the same sort of thing that many large companies use to, say, allocate use of internal IT resources by various departments: No money changes hands as such; but the use of IT services is 'billed' to give a sense of how large the IT budget should be).

Now, this doesn't mean that the selloff won't be accompanied by higher prices/ads/paywalls/whatever, since exactly unheard of to re-arrange things before doing something unpopular, so that blame can be apportioned differently(consider the examples where municipalities lease off toll roads to private corporations, and let them ram through substantial toll increases, rather than take the flack for doing so themselves); but there is no way that the shows were "free" to hulu before.

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36557754)

Well said, mod parent up. Having been in the accounting/auditing & IT business process sectors, you have it pretty much right. It really isn't a choice, companies _have_ to do this. Else it becomes one of those unmonitored "Other" cost buckets. Which means you can put something in there and no one cares... except on pay day where people suddenly realize there is no money in the bank as this "Other" cost center's loan interest alone is bankrupting them. So certainly Hulu is paying for their shows, possibly getting loans via an internal financial "bank" department. Which basically means the rest of the profitable business is "investing" in this new venue on the likely bet the whole business will see higher profits.

Having said that, I don't know which way this will go. Hulu has always been under constant pressure to increase ad revenue with longer/more ads and create a more attractive walled garden (aka: online cable service). They have until very recently, created a good balance. They know pretty well what will keep customers and how quickly they can lose them. However, it seems the owners think once they got us, we are addicted no matter how much they charge us (cost and time).

Without the owners, who will provide the capital to keep purchasing new shows on the bet that they will make money in the future? On the other side, they will have more control over the balancing act of keeping viewers and ad providers.

Re:Licensing Fees (3, Interesting)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557388)

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.

Re:Licensing Fees (2)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557394)

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 forced everyone to pay or vanished I'd have no choice. I just started paying for Netflix so I rarely use Hulu anymore anyway, only thing I watch is Colbert.

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 3 years ago | (#36558220)

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.

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557680)

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.

Re:Licensing Fees (2)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557782)

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.

Re:Licensing Fees (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557942)

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.

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36558276)

Hulu is still free if you watch it on a PC, and only need to watch recently aired episodes. The alternatives are not legal. They are constantly disappearing. Some are way too slow to stream from. They are generally lower quality. The better servers like megavideo and videobb, limit how much you can watch at a time, unless you pay them. So Hulu is preferable when they have it. You don't run into an artificial 72 minute of video barrier. You don't run into fake videos. You don't run into dead links. You don't run into mislabeled episodes. You don't run into audio/video that is out of sync. You don't run into servers that need 60 minutes to download a 24 minute video. It wasn't so bad watching 2-4 minutes of commercials for that. Besides, I'm a little ADD with TV lately, and will pause TV all the time to check other things, so the commercials aren't so bad.

If you use torrents, you end up possibly waiting longer to have your show ready. You end up using more bandwidth, which is a huge problem if your have a cap. Plus, you can get DMCA notices, and potentially get into trouble with having your internet disconnected, or even be sued.

Re:Licensing Fees (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557742)

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 (5, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557922)

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?

Yahoo Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36556878)

Anything Yahoo touches will die out. Just look at their previous transactions. If Hulu gets owned by Yahoo, it will become a thing of the past.

Re:Yahoo Sucks (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557222)

Yahoo operates in a reality distortion field which, unlike Apple's, only affects Yahoo employees. For chrissake they erected a monument [slashdot.org] to their fight against Gmail as though they were actually a contender.

Yahoo always thinks they can get ahead by buying whatever they think is 'cool and hip' except that they then proceed to suck those qualities right out of it because they, as a company, are not and never will be again. Their audience is mostly old people and boors who don't want these 'cool and hip' products in the first place. Yahoo tries to please them by changing the product, losing the user base they had when they bought it, and can't successfully court their own user base to move to it because they're old and/or stupid. It's lose, lose and they keep doing it over and over.

Yahoo died when they refused the MS bid. That was their last chance to leave with some pretense of dignity. Now they're doomed to slowly deflate while desperately flailing for anything cool to arrest their decline, and if they want to succeed at that, they should tear a page out of AOL's book (which is a company that is probably the most pro at such situations) and make sure that their tainted failed brand identity is kept as far away as possible from whatever 'cool' acquisition(s) they hope will keep them out of bankruptcy. (*cough* Like Bebo, TechCrunch, etc.)

Re:Yahoo Sucks (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557352)

Yahoo always thinks they can get ahead by buying whatever they think is 'cool and hip' except that they then proceed to suck those qualities right out of it because they, as a company, are not and never will be again.

Considering they throw company parties with strippers, I'd guess they are a cool/hip place to work, and I can see how they get sucked dry. All in all, I'd work there for those perks regardless of how people outside the company saw me ;)

More ads? (3, Interesting)

pyrr (1170465) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:More ads? (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557296)

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.

Re:More ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36557436)

Quite the opposite. With online ads you know exactly how many people see it. It's far less than for a TV add, which means they pay much less for it. The thing is, radio and TV adds use stupid statistics that they thing mean for every 1000 people watching your show, 1 million will see your add.

Re:More ads? (2)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557460)

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, they should be higher value than normal commercials with the caveat that less people (currently) are watching them.

Re:More ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36557792)

There's no point in showing someone the same ad 50 times. They just tune it out.

Since I got a Tivo years ago, I watch new commercials maybe once or twice, and then I don't need to watch them any more. Video advertising would probably have a much larger impact if they learned this, instead of hitting us with the same commercial hundreds of times.

Re:More ads? (2)

cwtrex (912286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557432)

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.

Re:More ads? (1)

Sardak (773761) | more than 3 years ago | (#36558864)

I recall one night while my girlfriend and I were watching something on Hulu shortly after I had gone through their Ad Tailor survey. We saw the exact same commercial at least 6 or 7 times in a row, once playing back to back in a 2-commercial break. After that, I went back and lied on their survey to make it less tedious.

Don't Care (2)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557058)

I live in Canada, you insensitive clod! I haven't cared about Hulu for years!

Re:Don't Care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36557762)

Don't worry, you are not missing out on anything special. Netflix on theother hand...

Re:Don't Care (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557866)

And neither have they cared about us.

(repeat for every country in the world that isn't the USA)

Good News For Me (1)

NateTG (93930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557070)

As hulu gets worse, it gets easier to do something else.

Re:Good News For Me (3, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

It sounds to me one of those. (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

I think you nailed it (1, Interesting)

Radical Moderate (563286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557272)

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 performance sucked.

Re:It sounds to me one of those. (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557290)

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.

I don't see how they stay in business (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557180)

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?

Re:I don't see how they stay in business (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557998)

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.

Re:I don't see how they stay in business (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36558376)

Seems to work fine and profitable for Netflix! ;)

hulu .. shmoolu (1)

vonshavingcream (2291296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557182)

Netflix + Crackle + Youtube FTW. We use hulu to watch 2 things ... Psych and Wipeout. cable free for 3 years and loving it.

Re:hulu .. shmoolu (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557216)

Clicker.com, awesome way to find what you want legally.

If hulu is gone, I might just have to get burn notice and fringe on DVD instead. Not a huge loss there. I would pay for it if it was ad free, but I will not pay to watch advertisements.

sell it? just shut it down (1)

rjejr (921275) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557266)

So, the companies that run a website are going to sell the website (but of course keep all their own shows) so Hulu will only be a "portal", full of links and ads for CBS, SyFy etc.? Just shut it down. As far as people worrying about having to go to "random" websites to watch all these shows, I think you mean random "apps". Content providers are suing Time Warner and Cablevision to stop letting customers watch their shows on the iPad via apps. I'm pretty sure the content owners want their own apps to stream their shows.

Re:sell it? just shut it down (1)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557892)

If they just shut it down, they don't get millions of dollars for selling it to someone gullible enough to buy it.

Nothing of value lost (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557288)

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 flash based noisy (as in makes sounds for no fucking reason) website to try and dig around and find some episode I want to watch ... in 320x240 because cbs.com is a shitty website ... using some other completely retarded flash player.

So ... I rapidly learned hulu could go fuck themselves. Now, instead I just DVR it on my Windows media center box, and have it transcode to iPhone/iPad and XBox360 compatible formats after the fact ... auto removing commercials in the process.

This is what happens when you make your product so absolutely freaking annoying to use that people would rather spend the effort to just figure out a way to not use you.

So no, I can't randomly watch some random show from last season of Stargate Universe because they decide they'd put it up on Hulu this week. Instead I watch whatever one scifi decided to air this week ... without the commercials ... without paying more than I'm already paying for scifi shows ... you know, since the cable company is already paying them for me out of my cable bill ... which of course, cable was originally supposed to be sans-ads as well ... Even if you watch the ads on cable versions, you at least generally don't see the same ad 4 times during one show ... with Hulu its rather common to see the same commercial at EVERY FREAKING commercial point.

And of course I can queue up shows/movies to play back to back, on the devices I want to watch them on ... doesn't matter if its my TV, iPad, PC, or phone ...

Hulu was a good idea that the content producers fucked up and made so most people wouldn't bother. Now they are trying to dump it on someone else before its a total wash.

Re:Nothing of value lost (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557360)

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 paying for cable nor hulu.

Re:Nothing of value lost (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557700)

Just wanted to comment because it's funny how your comment could have been written by me.

All I use my TV for is a large monitor for my PC and my PS3. I watch stuff on youtube or other sites, or stuff I downloaded from my PC, and I watch netflix through my ps3. That's more than enough television for me.

Re:Nothing of value lost (2)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557846)

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+.

Re:Nothing of value lost (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557994)

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.

lol (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557308)

I bet it sells for more than myspace does.

I'll pay to get rid of ads. (4, Insightful)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:I'll pay to get rid of ads. (1)

acoustix (123925) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557828)

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.

Re:I'll pay to get rid of ads. (2)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36558200)

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.

Re:I'll pay to get rid of ads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36558716)

I never see Hulu ads, and in their place there is silence with just a black screen with white text telling me there is a problem with displaying ads for the duration of the ad(s) that were meant to be displayed. The quiet breaks are actually rather nice. All you need is a good host file to block Hulu ads, such as the one here: someone who cares host file [someonewhocares.org] .

And this is different how? (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557342)

indications that free Hulu users will have to be a cable subscriber in order to watch shows the day after they air

Maybe I watch the wrong shows, but the ones I've watched have usually been on a 7-day wait, i.e., "you can see it as soon as the next one airs."

Re:And this is different how? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557400)

Same boat here. I wonder what the wait will be for those that don't have cable. I will not pay for that until it drops the advertising either.

Re:And this is different how? (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557490)

I can watch pretty much any TV show ever aired by looking them up on about 3 other sites anyway. True, the video is crappy flash quality, but there's no commercials and it's free, and I don't require my visual entertainment to give me continuous eyegasms (HD!!11!1!1!!!!1 :-D

Re:And this is different how? (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557510)

Oh yeah, and depending on what time zone it's originally aired in, the latest episode can be up by the end of the day in my time zone. Watching Doctor Who at the same local time, the day of broadcast, FTW.

Google, Please Buy Hulu! (1)

Randwulf (997659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557344)

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.

Re:Google, Please Buy Hulu! (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557714)

If Google tried to own Hulu and Youtube they might get in trouble from the anti-trust people.

Re:Google, Please Buy Hulu! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36558044)

I didn't think there were any anti-trust people around anymore. They definitely haven't been doing anything lately.

Re:Google, Please Buy Hulu! (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36558218)

I thought Google was already going with their GoogleTV offering.

Less TV (4, Interesting)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Less TV (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36558008)

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. $0.25/hour sounds fair. Maybe $0.10/22 minute show. Anything more is just ridiculous.

Probably (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36557468)

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. So, over all, I view this as likely to be a good thing for Hulu, and for viewers.

Cthulhu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36557500)

Wait... someone is trying to sell Cthulhu? Seems like a wise investment...

Woot 7p... (-1)

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Not that great anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36558576)

When it first came out they had more content and back episodes of shows. In addition the commercials only lasted 15 seconds instead of the 2 minute three times each we now get.

I gave up on Hulu in preference of Netflix and other sources.

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