If you can see this blog then you probably know what Hulu is. For those that do not it is basically free tv on the internet. There has been controversy back and forth on Hulu with most people loving the service. I like Hulu and have enjoyed shows/movies on it mostly because of three reasons;
- Because it’s FREE
- It’s on demand
- It’s FREE
Well for all of you enjoying Hulu or one of it’s many partners, this announcement was made 10.21.2009:
“I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content. I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value,” Carey said. “Hulu concurs with that, it needs to evolve to have a meaningful subscription model as part of its business.” – Chase Carey – News Corp. Deputy Chairman
I am curious what they are trying to say exactly. Are they saying people only find TV programming valuable if they pay for it? Maybe they are saying that Advertisers don’t think it’s valuable enough unless people are paying. What is a meaningful subscription model? Let’s see what you think with the below poll, what would you spend for monthly Hulu service?
Some facts on Hulu:
Despite more than 40 million unique visitors and 500 million free online streamed videos, Hulu continues to lose about $33 million annually. It shares ad revenues with content owners. Still, Hulu’s three broadcast network owners lose an estimated $920 in ad revenues for every 1,000 viewers who substitute the PC for the TV – Analyst Laura Martin.
If Hulu does go to a subscription model it better well come with a box i can hook up to my TV. If i am paying monthly then i want a traditional viewing experience. The one think i don’t think they are getting is that people use Hulu because it is easy. More importantly it’s easier than torrenting a movie or show. As soon as you start charging then torrenting seems easier to some. If they are concerned about the value of the content then make better content don’t charge to imply value. If ad revenue is an issue there must be a better way of engaging the audience while keeping the content free to the user.
When you look at an Apple product you realize that Apple has though, thought again an then maybe over though the product. With the iTv they have taken something that most of us already have in our home and improved upon it. On Demand content.
We all love having On Demand content in a world of “I want this and i want it now”. Our cable and satellite providers have given us and continue to give us the largest amount of content at one time but for a price. In the world today with our busy schedules sure having 700+ channels is great but how much of that and our dollars are wasted. To combat that is the infamous “A la cart” cable, great idea, not for the cable companies though. A la cart would allow you to only purchase the channels you really want to watch, that means less money for the cable providers.
What has apple done? Now we have this iTv that without a PC you can buy/rent tv shows and movies (we don’t even need to get into youtube and flickr). So now you have basically a set top “cable” style box. Right now we can rent movies for about the same price as VOD/EOD and buy tv shows for $0.99. But, you know that Apple has something up their sleeve. Think about what apple could do with a mere software update! Let’s play “What If”!
What if Apple finds a way to get as many content rights as Hulu and they start to add some commercials to the content and charge $0.00 for Tv Shows!!! What effect could this have on the Cable industry? Instead of paying $40 – $100 a month for Tv you pay $0.00. Unless you are a Tv-holic don’t you only care about the major shows, so you might miss a Mtv reality nightmare or two but maybe this will force more production houses to supply their content via digital means.
Consumer: Wants Tv/Movies when they want them for the lowest cost.
Show Producers: Wants the most amount of advertising dollars for the show.
So, What could iTv Be?
- Free Tv Shows (saved indefinitely – ads updated)
- Movies bought and rented
- Flickr, Youtube, Trailers, Video Phone???
If Apples wants to they are gaining the ability to rock the cable world as we know it. They have gained the trust of the mass consumer electronic market and are gaining market share at a record pace. Will they do it? Are they already working on it? Call me a Apple prophet if you will but only time will tell.