29 June 2010

Hulu Plus; more of the same

Is it any wonder broadcasters are afraid of the Internet? They don't even understand it. Exhibit most recent: Hulu Plus, a $10 per month service which allows you to watch current and back-catalogs of television shows like X-Files, Modern Family, and others. Oh, wait, a $10 per month "ad-supported" service, something Hulu considers "revolutionary" and a price-point about which they're "thrilled".

Which would be great if they only had to eat their own dog food. But here in the real world, with services like Netflix already providing ad-free streaming (to more devices), the value proposition for Hulu Plus seems smaller. Add to this the ability to already see the same shows available on Hulu Plus through regular Hulu (with the same ads), things are looking oddly... off.

The big sell here is that you can watch all currently available episodes of a show, not just the three or five trailing episodes many shows currently allow. But, with movie studios clinging to old markets and training consumers that they're going to have to wait for releases, people using the convenience of the Internet to view media are more and more willing to wait.

Essentially, Hulu Plus is almost 3 years too late with this idea. The market has better offerings with more value. Unfortunately, if Hulu Plus fails, look for calls of piracy and consumer readiness as reasons. Never mind the complete lack of any value presented and the complete ignorance of what consumers actually want.

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