Hulu Owners Looking To Make Hulu Even More Useless

from the you-can't-disrupt-yourself dept

It's been almost two years since we suggested it might be impossible for Hulu to survive, given that it was in a bit of a "rock and a hard place" situation. The only way for it to really succeed long-term online was to disrupt the existing TV business. Because, if it didn't do that, others could and would kill Hulu. However, Hulu is owned by the existing TV business, and that means the company can't do what it needs to do. The WSJ is reporting that NBC management is upset with the way Hulu is undercutting its current business model, and is now pushing to change Hulu entirely into an "online cable channel" rather than an aggregator and service for watching television shows. Of course, as many are pointing out, this would almost certainly kill off Hulu.

This is all pretty unfortunate. From a technical standpoint, Hulu appears to be a great service. The only thing really holding it back has been a bunch of owners and licensees who think that the path to the future is to apply all sorts of limitations on what can be done with their content. That's the exact opposite of the path to success these days. Putting limitations on content is not the solution. Enabling people to do more with your content is the solution. Hulu put in place a platform that could do that... but it's owners are choosing to go in a totally different direction, and they don't even seem to realize that they're making a huge mistake.

Filed Under: cable, disruption, innovation, internet, pay tv, tv
Companies: comcast, hulu, nbc universal


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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 31 Jan 2011 @ 6:15am

    Re: RE:

    While what you say seems to be true, it always strikes me as incredible. Why do some industries have a seemingly massive influence over the government?
    Homeland Security ignores due process to seize domains because Big Content business models would rather control the web than understand it? Then DHS actually issues a press release from a Disney office?
    Sony gets the government to ignore fundamental property rights, just because their business model says (needlessly) that console owners can only be passive consumers?
    These are just two examples, but regular readers here know that there are many more. The question is: why? At base, the only reasonable answer seems to be a lack of education or understanding of the issues inherent to so-called intellectual property. Aside from that and, perhaps, corruption, why else would we see the government doing the bidding of some big businesses? If we don't respond to this situation, we will see more of what we already have: legislation which attempts to make reality fit (otherwise failing) business models, and the preferential application of existing law, to the benefit of companies who choose not to adapt.

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