Hulu Realizing That Taking Orders From Every Entertainment Company Boss Isn't Effective

from the streamlining? dept

We've discussed in the past how Hulu really is in a somewhat impossible predicament, in that to be truly innovative, it needs to disrupt the classic TV business model. But the "classic TV businesses" are the ones who own Hulu -- and who want to cripple the service. We keep hearing that the folks at Hulu really do understand what they need to do to be successful, but they're seriously held back by their ownership. So it's interesting to see that Hulu is planning to downsize its board of directors, potentially getting rid of Disney's CEO and News Corp's COO in order to, as they say, "streamline decision-making." That's pretty clear code for "our board is killing us." Will be interesting to see if Hulu can actually get enough separation from its ownership to do what it clearly needs to do.


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  1.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 9:10pm

    " potentially getting rid of Disney's CEO and News Corp's COO"

    As soon as that comes in and they actually do it, I'll be one of the first to look at Hulu once again as a video source.

    Until then, I am not watching their inconsistent ads, their disorganized sections for certain shows, or paying money to watch entertainment that is arbitrarily stunted (hint: read how some shows stop after certain seasons).

    It was when the industries stepped up to stop them that Hulu really went downhill instead of allowing them to do their own thing.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 9:10pm

    Seperation from the board really isn't very useful, because the board members represent the companies that own the content. All Hulu will end up doing is putting themselves on the outs with the content creators, and in turn find themselves running a very popular service with no actual content that anyone wants.

    Nibbling on the hands that feed isn't a good idea.

     

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    teka, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 9:22pm

    Re:

    better to be fighting the enemies outside then to be fighting them from outside And in your own board.

     

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    IronM@sk, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 9:41pm

    Re:

    As opposed to keeping the current board and running a very unpopular service with no actual content that anyone wants?

     

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    HyperSh0ck (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 1:56am

    hmmm

    Considering that HULU collects some of that ad revenue and I remember when they didn't have ads; and considering that they get some of that Hulu+ subscription revenue; why don't they just create their own popular programming. I am sure they could do a better job of it than say the other guys. Perhaps what HULU should do is pick up shows from other Networks, that have been canceled like, EurEka, The Cape, Haven for examples of SyFy shows that hooked us but are now canceled and continue them. That would make HULU even more awesome than it is now!

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:50am

    Good old Disney

    Their thug-like copyright protection will ensure that, if ousted, Hulu will have no access to their content until well after the world has been reduced to a post-apocalyptic wasteland, at which point they'll probably still have to complete some insurmountable and horrifying quest before AM will let them run 90-second clips.

     

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    Hiiragi Kagami (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:20am

    R.I.P. Hulu

    When a small fry like Hulu is between two immovable objects, its future is dim, especially if it's getting beat around so much.

    As I stated with yesterday's post: those who own the content have no idea how to create a website to draw in the millions to the content.

    To date: I've yet to see one successful website pushing "Hollywood" content... and we're now in 2011.

    Shameful.

    Perhaps Hulu can dissolve and come back as "Hulu Lite".

     

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  8.  
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    charliebrown (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 4:22am

    Enough Is Enough!

    At the outset, I would like to point out that I am in Australia and I can't access Hulu so I am basing anything I say about Hulu on hearsay and assumptions.

    As far as I am aware, Hulu was set up to compete with YouTube by offering people a legal alternative. For these stations to turn around and criticize them for doing what they were supposed to do is sheer stupidity. Your's obviously, Captain Obvious!

    I'm going to talk about video on demand. I may put forward some ideas, which should be obvious ideas. But sometimes these entertainment industry bigwigs turn a blind eye to Captain Obvious.

    People want TV shows and movies on demand. If YouTube is any indication, they don't necessarily want to pay for it. So give them video on demand with commercial breaks. But cut the crap and do it properly: Make it available worldwide, especially if a show is over five years old as there's little chance of a major network picking up a show for "first run" five years after it originally aired. Preferably, however, a TV series would be produced in advance and premiere world wide. Movies can stay at the cinema and then be available on a VOD service on the same day as the DVD release. People who like the movie will still go out and buy the DVD. People who download the movie never would have bought it in the first place.

    Now, nobody likes commercial breaks. So let's give people an option to have a commercial free package. They would have to pay for it, of course. But people are willing to pay for something they want if the price is right and the service is good. See Netflix for a perfect example. And with the available technology there is no excuse for such a service to be bad.

    If I had the money to license the TV shows, I'd do it myself! And although it would take me about a year to get a good catalogue uploaded, I could start it up without needing to buy any additional hardware up front (just down the line) - I could do it with almost any home computer. But, seeing as I am a nobody, I would never hear from them unless I splashed cash in their faces.

    Basically, there are no acceptable excuses left. And the studios have no choice, really. It's give people a good service at a reasonable price or people will seek out alternatives, regardless of whether or not it is legal.

     

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    surfer, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 6:17am

    the studios don't want change.

    The studios don't want change. In the reality of television, each new 'episode' has a licensed purchased by the broadcaster at an ungodly sum, which is expected to be recouped by the broadcaster in the form of advertisements during the broadcast of said show. So, the producer of said show/episode has already covered his costs to create the content by gouging the broadcaster for the license to present it on their particular channel. Then what we hear alot of is, 'the ratings were too low', that can be translated into, 'not enough people watched the show' to recoup advertising costs to cover the broadcast licensing demanded by the producers of said show. If this happens long enough, the show is canceled, (the broadcaster refuses to pay the licensing for said show anymore because it is not making enough money with advertising eyeballs). Fake dollars for eyeballs, for sure, but that is how the current system works. This is exactly why you see Showtime, HBO, even SyFy (ick) creating their own content on their own dime, because it is cheaper to independently develop a show, than it is to pay these outrageous licensing deals the content producers want. (read Disney, Warner Bros, ad nausea). When cable television was first inroduced, it was advertised as 'No Commercials!', because it was premium, and had a subscription dollar value attached. That didn't take long to see the broadcasters drooling over money they were NOT making before commercials broke into the 'premium' market, so fast that the average human cannot measure the time between cable broke into the scene, and when commercials began appearing in the new premium service. I would call that greed.

    Now we have Hulu, which personally, I like and dislike, however irrelevant. Hulu is what the public wants, their 'OP' when they want it, instead of having to remember to 'DVR' it, or arrange their schedule around the airing. Limited commercials (actually, there should be NO commercials, because the broadcaster already paid the license to present the show via airwaves, and already got reimbursed via advertising eyeballs when the show initially aired), in an on-demand sphere.

    The problem with Hulu is that it is based on 1970's broadcasting terms/rules/agreements/business models. It is yet another 'cable' device to them, to be used to gouge customers even further, for even larger profits, or in other words, another chance to f*ck the consumer. I believe there is no reason NOT to have advertisements ON the page while looking for your next episode of 'Pee-Wee's Playhouse', but not DURING the episode.

    Speaking of Pee-Wee's Playhouse, how many episodes of this show does Hulu offer? I count zero. This is the flaw in the business model. As a youngster, I loved a BBC distributed show called 'Space: 1999', which was science fiction story about the moon breaking orbit from earth due to a massive nuclear reaction on the moon. The show aired between 1969-1971 for 2 full seasons of 24 episodes each. As an exercise, I searched legitimate retail resources, Hulu, Amazon, even eBay (shiver), and this quality British show is nowhere to be found. Well, not so impossible to find, all 48 episodes, in high quality were available on usenet, therefore I downloaded and archived both seasons for my own enjoyment.

    My point is that the business models of today's use of the internet as a broadcast medium instead of a communications medium has left end-users like myself wanting.. The focus should be about diversity, and choice. Offering the 'customer' a variety of content, and not just the latest episode of 'American Idol'. This would spurn massive demand, and of course profits. If the broadcaster has already made money with advertising for the first airing, and then additional profit from syndication (in this case the BBC show was created and aired in Europe, and was then syndicated to the US because it did so well), then why is it so hard to offer the show on Hulu? I am not saying the broadcaster should not make a profit, just don't gouge the living sh*t out of me in doing so.

    I agree with charliebrown, there are no acceptable excuses left, the studios have no choice but to offer a larger variety of content, going all the way back to my Space: 1999 circa 1971, at reasonably low cost, without commercial breaks during the episode itself. I am no longer a mindless cash-cow, expected to relent to the studios version of variety, time-table, and overabundance of advertising. I am now a customer, and if the studios do not wish to offer what the customer wants, then I will seek alternatives to satisfy my wants. Unauthorized file sharing is a result of this enormous gap in demand left by greedy studios.

    /rant

     

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  10.  
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    MikeLinPA (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re:

    I donno about that... Your own boss, your enemy? Sounds like every job I ever had!

     

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    BBC Web hosting, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 6:59am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVpv8-5XWOI

    hard fight when your enemies are just around u and know u well...

     

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  12.  
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    rangda (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 7:27am

    Re: the studios don't want change.

    I don't want to get in the way of a good rant (a lot of which I agree with); but...I'm not sure what country you're in so maybe this isn't available where you are:

    http://www.amazon.com/Space-1999-Anniversary-Megaset-17DVD/dp/B000P6R5TI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8& amp;qid=1300285404&sr=8-1

    Space: 1999 has been available on DVD here in the States for about 12 years.

     

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  13.  
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    Danny, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re: the studios don't want change.

    When cable television was first inroduced, it was advertised as 'No Commercials!', because it was premium, and had a subscription dollar value attached. That didn't take long to see the broadcasters drooling over money they were NOT making before commercials broke into the 'premium' market, so fast that the average human cannot measure the time between cable broke into the scene, and when commercials began appearing in the new premium service. I would call that greed.
    Speaking of you notice now that a lot of networks actually play ads during closing credits of shows (meaning goodbye to listening to that cool theme song you like)? Opening themes aren't much better. Take Charmed for example, where you can clearly tell that after some point several seconds of the opening credits were cut out around season 3 or 4 (Eureka did the same thing about season 3, as well as The Mentalist.). And then you have shows that don't even have opening credits like Stargate Universe whose opening sounds more like a cell phone ring tone than an opening.

    Also if you ever look at tv shows commercial free (like on a dvd boxed set) notice the length. Usually an "hour long" drama is more like 45min.

    Speaking of Pee-Wee's Playhouse, how many episodes of this show does Hulu offer? I count zero. This is the flaw in the business model. As a youngster, I loved a BBC distributed show called 'Space: 1999', which was science fiction story about the moon breaking orbit from earth due to a massive nuclear reaction on the moon. The show aired between 1969-1971 for 2 full seasons of 24 episodes each. As an exercise, I searched legitimate retail resources, Hulu, Amazon, even eBay (shiver), and this quality British show is nowhere to be found. Well, not so impossible to find, all 48 episodes, in high quality were available on usenet, therefore I downloaded and archived both seasons for my own enjoyment.
    I think most people have a show like. For me its Living Single. I don't know whether or not its on Hulu but one thing I know for sure is that it only airs in the wee hours and I've had no luck on finding it on DVD. But if I somehow "acquire" it by other means I'm the bad guy right?

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Re: hmmm

    Actually according to DSL reports they are about to have competition in the content creation thing. Netflix is about to start producting content. They have snapped up the rights to a new un-aired series by David Fincher and Kevin Spacey. There goes the whole hollywood turning netflix into an "old content" provider.

     

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    surfer, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 9:42am

    ironically..

    ironically, an old BBC produced show is not available in my 'region'. And Amazon complains; 'this is not available in your region'. I could vpn to USA, but can't put Macedonia on the shipping address. How many hoops are acceptable prior to admitting defeat, and reviewing 'alternatives'?

     

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  16.  
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    Len, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

    Re:

    That depends on who they are getting rid of. Especially when you consider that the board was probably the reason Hulu has become irrelevant after such a great start.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 7:20pm

    Re: hmmm

    Haven was cancelled?!

    GOD
    DAMMIT!

    Sigh. Gotta break the news to the spouse...ohhhh...

    F U, SYFY!

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re: hmmm

    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2010/10/07/syfy-renews-haven-for-13-episode-second-season/67087

    That's what teh Goog gave me, so...crisis averted. And yay! I like this goofy little show.

     

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