Hulu’s Streaming FAIL

There’ve been a lot of people recently on the MythTv mailing list talking about Boxee as a convenient way to was content on Hulu.  However, the Boxee developers have blogged that Hulu has nixed that idea.  (And here’s Hulu’s side of the story)  I read a bunch of comments as well as both of those blog posts (I also read this great blog post) and the only conclusion I can come up with is that the TV execs that license their content to Hulu are braindead.  Here are the best reasons I read in the comments (summarized for brevity) :

  • I can watch Hulu through Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc – Boxee is just another form of a browser – why discriminate against them?
  • If I can’t watch legaly via Boxee, I’m just going to download torrent files
  • If I DVR my shows, I can skip the commercials – but if I watch via Hulu I have to watch commercials so, since I watch these commercials in Boxee they make more money than if I watch regular TV

I pretty much thing these guys are right on the mark.  I’ve been watching some programs on Hulu since I cancelled cable and I miss being able to skip commercials.  Now I am forced to watch them.  So why would you want me to download these as torrents instead and not watch commercials?  Plus, the showing programs via Boxee gives you more eyeballs (and these are verifiable eyeballs unlike the Nielson estimates of how many people are watching).  And anyone who actually is using Boxee is probably someone in your coveted age group 18-35 male with money to spend plus tech savy – so we spend tons of dough.

The third blog I linked has the most likely answer to this madness – Hulu is probably going to make their own set top box and they don’t want to compete with Boxee. That would be horribly dumb.  I’m starting to run out of space near my TV (as well as ports).  I already have my Roku Box and MythTV.  I don’t need another box for Hulu.  The people producing the content for Hulu (which are at least part owners of Hulu itself) need to stop being scared of the Internet.  The people using Boxee were watching legal and legit programs and watchign commercials.  What more could the content producers want?


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