Friday, March 5, 2010

hulu is not cable

I know from personal experience that (a) Viacom does not have a sense of humor, and (b) it likes to crush those it perceives as its enemies, no matter how small. So I was ready to spit some bile at their withdrawal of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report from Hulu, one of my new favorite things.

But, frankly, it makes sense:
The three-year-old Hulu dominates the burgeoning market for online TV viewing, with more than 44 million monthly visitors, according to ComScore. The site’s monthly video view totals have skyrocketed in recent months, from 580 million last September to 1.01 billion last December.

Three of the broadcast networks, ABC, NBC and Fox, own stakes in Hulu. Viacom’s decision may suggest that the economics of Hulu make less sense for content providers that lack equity in the Web site.
Hulu is not Comcast, or Cablevision, or Time Warner -- it's a new economic model. So it makes sense that you can't just throw your content out there and make money the same way. it makes more sense to run your own portal and put the advertising dollars in your pocket -- especially since you don't have to build broadcast towers, lay down cable, or launch satellites.

(I still say than when conglomerates take this pipeline/production co-ownership model out of the virtual world and into the real one, as we've mentioned here, it's still a really bad idea.)

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