by Mike Masnick
Tue, Nov 17th 2009 7:31am
Nearly a year ago, we questioned whether or not Hulu could survive. It's not that we don't think the product is well done or well liked. Other than the annoying regional restrictions which pisses off lots of people, the overall service is quite nice. The problem is that there are just way too many conflicts to deal with. The company is owned, in large part, by the networks, and that's leading to all sorts of pressure and complaints about how ads are sold and whether or not there should be a subscription service. From what I've heard, the folks at Hulu understand quite well how an internet-age company should act. The company's rather honest explanation for its fight with Boxee certainly suggested the problem was at a different level than with Hulu management. But... with Hulu having most of its ownership from legacy industries, combined with having so many different players involved in the ownership, it shouldn't come as a surprise at all that the company is now coming under pressure to do things (subscriptions, limits, etc.) that will certainly kill off whatever good has been done. And, since some of the pressure is actually coming from the cable guys as well (who view Hulu as a huge threat), this will only get worse if, as is widely expected, Comcast completes its purchase of NBC Universal.
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