back to article Pay TV giant Hulu becomes victim of its own success

The latest rumour of Hulu CEO Jason Kilar’s imminent departure sounds like a good old silly season story designed to fill the void of empty news pages while people are on vacation. But the fact Hulu has been attracting such rumours while other big hitters in pay TV never seem to get them, itself provides a clue to a story of …

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maybe that explains ...

the just-introduced Grauniad-ization of their home page - you know, where they convert a nice, clean lay-out to an "OMG, couldn't you figure out how to cram a couple hundred *more* things onto this gawdawful eye-sore?"

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Anonymous Coward

Fragmentation is what they have at the moment

The Venn diagram of the content that each 'system' has is getting more and more complex - Netflix in the UK has some content, Lovefilm has others, etc. To get all the content requires several subs - something I'm not willing to do.

Recently wanted to see Point break/Airplane - I have a free sub to Lovefilm for a few months - lets go and see. Well they have both but no streaming (it was an impulse thing) - obviously don't have the rights - so I can order them by post and get them eventually, go to Blockbuster and hope these 'long tail' items are on the shelves or trawl Tesco/Asda and see if I can buy them....

...or download Blu-Ray quality rips from The Bay of Pirates in under an hour. Guess which one I did? They are shooting themselves in the foot by all this fragmentation. Put ALL the content on ALL the systems and let them slug it out on value added extras, there is NO WAY I'm maintaining subs to four different systems just because the studios can't get their shit together.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fragmentation is what they have at the moment

Try finding Peter Jackson's Bad Taste. only the last service you mentioned there seems to have it.

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Re: Fragmentation is what they have at the moment

I would happily pay say $50 a month for one service that has everything netflix & hulu & the main studios own sites and broadcast services has and that I can stream to 3 or 4 devices at once. Then I can cancel the cable package and upgrade the broadband. They probably end up making more money overall but I get the freedom to watch what I want when I have time. We already downgraded the cable tv because of all their petty fights with content producers. Netfix is more convienient and vod fills in a few gaps.

Many of us don't like in the 60's where we get home from work at 5pm and sit in front of the tv all evening. If they want my money they need to offer a product thats value for my money. iplayer in the uk is awesome. Fragmenting digital delivery won't make more money, it will make less. Thats why network by and large cross sell channels, whilst the internet removes geographic constrictions it doesn't remove the inconvienience. Get your shit together or you won't get my money. TV isn't a necessity, it's a luxury and luxuries shouldn't be a pain in the ass.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fragmentation is what they have at the moment

iPlayer IS good, but it is still fragmentation - 4OD (Channel 4's version) has lots of older content as well but it's a different app - at least it's on the PS3 side by side with iPlayer. However, it is clunky, and always seems to mess up and reset streams.

YouView in the UK is 'trying' to get all these playing on a single platform, but at the moment it is STILL a fragmented mess.

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Re: Fragmentation is what they have at the moment

Sorry, thats true, I should have been clearer. I meant that the functionality and concept was excellent.

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Anonymous Coward

Nothing to see here.

Unless you're in America, there's nothing to see on that site anyway.

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Funny...

I had noticed that hulu had suddenly gotten a number of simulcast foreign series that were previously exclusive to other streaming sites and had assumed it was just the other site that had lost it's exclusivity. But apparently the big boys in the content world are changing the rules for all of the streaming sites at once. Go figure.

I'm not a fan of fragmentation either as most of the network's own streaming sites have pissed me off one way or another. Ads that force you out of full screen mode. The typical "blast the commercial's at the highest db" routine they've always tried to do on the traditional content delivery systems. Lag. Totally inconsistent availability - there's been more than one series I've seen taken down mid season. The bottom line is that most of the networks don't really care about their streaming offering. Either that or their trolls.

In theory this means that more sites will have access to their libraries, but that's under the assumption they can afford it. I really have no idea what the licensing deals are like. I can't help but shake the feeling that this is 1) the beginning of the end for hulu, 2) an opportunity for google to ultimately secure all the rights to their content when their business plan falls flat on it's face... fail.

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Headmaster

THEY'RE trolls...

I just fell for it, didn't I?

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FAIL

Tried to find somewhere to pay to watch an episode of DS9 the other day.

Amazon US let you watch loads of TV for free if you'er a Prime member (good value for all that TV)

Amazon UK has nothing.

Blinkbox has nothing.

Netflix has nothing.

Cove of Convenient Content™ has them all.

It's fucking stupid living in a world where I want to pay the content creators for their works, but they don't let me.

*slow claps*

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WTF?

DS9

is available to watch instantly on Netflix.

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Re: DS9

Apparently not in the UK. Just signed up for the trial based on your comment and they don't have *anything* trekkie :(

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Obligatory Oatmeal observation: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

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Control

The Content providers are concerned about control. All they care about is controlling their content. They care more about that than making money.

The question is - why?

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong balance

They got the wrong balance of ads and subscription. If you subscribe to Hulu Plus you still get ads. Netflix has no ads. I am not paying to see ads, that is the whole *point* of OTT vs cable subscription (which I don't have).

I have now dropped both Hulu Plus and Netflix and use Amazon Prime, Crackle and then an occasional Amazon rental if what I want is not included in the above. Plus other stuff I can't talk about here

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