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Thread: TV Studios: Why do you insist on killing good things?

  1. #1
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default TV Studios: Why do you insist on killing good things?

    Discussions of cancelled shows aside (I'm looking at you, FOX ), my most recent complaint is with the way networks have started treating Hulu recently.

    This has sort of been building in my head for a while, from when I noticed that new Burn Notice episodes weren't getting put up until 30 days after the air date. This was new this season, and kinda pissed me off, but I figured, ok, whatever, I can wait a month...no big deal...kinda annoying that I can't talk about new episodes with my friends who actually pay for cable, but hey, we have plenty of other stuff to talk about. And I went on with my life.

    Now bring in today, when I realized that I hadn't seen a new episode of Eureka or Warehouse 13 in a while. I knew I had seen episodes from the current season, and after checking with my trusty friend epguides.com, I knew that there were new episodes that had come out that I hadn't seen yet. So I went over to the Hulu page for those shows to see if there was anything there to indicate what was going on.

    ...and I saw this...
    The first two episodes of Warehouse 13 were made available the day after they aired on television. New episodes will stream in late September.
    Upon further investigation, it appears that (unsurprisingly) all of the shows by these two networks (USA and SciFi) are under the same streaming restrictions. This article sums it up pretty well.
    http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-pi...-hulu-2011085/

    Now, keeping in mind that the networks that are making these drastic changes have a part ownership in Hulu, and thus do actually have a financial stake in whether or not it succeeds and is profitable, I am at a loss to understand why they are doing this. Wasn't one of the original reasons for making Hulu to monetize a previously untapped portion of the market, aka, pirates? You give people the ability to watch your shows for free, with commercials, easily and conveniently online. Build a functional, well designed, website around it to let them automatically get new episodes as you post them, and you might just pull in some of those pirates and actually make money off them. And guess what? It worked! I would say probably around 70-80% of the people I have talked to who pirate stuff do it for the convenience factor. So guess what? If you present a service to them that is more convenient than piracy, they will flock to it in droves. This isn't speculation, like it was several years ago when Hulu and Netflix were first starting up. It is fact. According to the Alexa web rankings, Hulu is ranked #50 in the US with over 1.5 million hits per day (93.7% coming from the US)! How many of those are former pirates or people who either never would have watched any of those shows in the first place? I'm going to guess a lot. I can understand companies like Comcast wanting to kill sites like Hulu since they offer a competing service using Comcast's own resources. But the networks? What possible reason could they have for doing this? The only goal I can think of that makes any sense is that they are trying to drive people to watching new episodes on traditional TV services. But hey, USA? SciFi? I've got news for you. Most of the people who use Hulu to watch those new shows use it because they don't have traditional TV service. Well, that or it's just a lot more convenient to access the same content on Hulu. And here's another piece of advice. You know all those pirates you were making money off of with Hulu? Yeah, I can pretty much guarantee that their reaction to this is not going to be to sign up for a traditional TV service plan and watch your shows there. Their reaction will be to go back to piracy. And you will no longer make any money off of them enjoying your shows.

    I should explain, I am not promoting piracy. Far from it; if the people making the shows we all enjoy don't make money from us watching them (whether through commercial revenue, DVD sales, or whatever), they won't have any incentive (or ability) to make more. My problem with all this is that I cannot see any logical business plan in which a move like this makes any sense.
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    Water Cooled Diamon's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV Studios: Why do you insist on killing good things?

    I agree completly. If hulu worked in Sweden I'd use it as long as the episodes are available instantly. I choose the option that is the most convenient for me and so does almost everyone else.

    Piracy already has the advantage of being free of adds and not costing anything. No reason to also make it faster and easier then the legal alternatives.
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    Mentally Underclocked mDust's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV Studios: Why do you insist on killing good things?

    I had cable at my previous apartment, but not here. I don't miss it even a little bit. Most of the shows were the same repeated, mind-numbing trash with different faces. I only ever watched about 3-4 channels of the 60-70 I had. I honestly cannot wait for TV to just die. Society will be much better off as a whole without the crap that airs these days.

    Just curious, do you have Hulu+? Hulu started out completely free to the viewer with the exception of forced commercial advertisements. Hulu+ has a ton more content and quicker access to certain things...for $8/mo.
    I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

  4. #4
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV Studios: Why do you insist on killing good things?

    I don't have Hulu+. IDK if the shows are available any sooner on +...that would make sense if the networks get a kickback from the membership fee...
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    woy...collokweee...weeble weeble blaaaat artoodeeto's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV Studios: Why do you insist on killing good things?

    Only thing I can think of is that the networks get more advertising dollars in revenue via traditional cable services as compared to online ones like Hulu. So their moves are geared towards trying to shunt people over to that by limiting access to the outlets that don't make them as much money.

    It's likely similar to Sony and Starz (I think) decision recently to pull all or most of their stuff from Netflix's streaming. And as X88X pointed out, the fact that they just pulled all that from the most convenient outlet for me means there's a lot that I just won't watch now. It's irritating, sure, but unless it's convenient to watch there's a lot I don't care about enough to look for on TV or wait for/buy DVDs.

    In my view, the entire root of the problem is we're seeing a paradigm shift in the way we watch media, and due to high cost, uncertainty, and likely lower revenue of a company switching entirely over to the new method, we're seeing networks and cable companies desperately trying to hold on to the old method. Much like the music industry did (and still does) with digital music. And the way energy companies (ok, mostly oil companies) currently do in regards to greener technologies. The worst part is in the long run, this kind of attitude hurts everyone. And the only way they'll change is if there's a firm financial incentive to do so. grrrr......
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    Administrator OvRiDe's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV Studios: Why do you insist on killing good things?

    They just spoke about this on TWiT ep 315. Advertising is not the primary income for the networks. The majority of their income is selling their programming to the different carriers (MSO) Which means they are at the mercy of the cable/satellite companies conditions for the contract. Leo brought up that these agreements limit distribution such as the one with TechTV back in the day is that they were not allowed to put more then 10 minutes of any shows on the internet. So the networks are obviously working on a happy medium to satisfy as many people as they can, BUT I can't blame them for not jeopardizing their primary revenue stream. At the present time its their life blood. They might be able to work out something over time, but until then they are just as much of a hostage as we are.
    Last edited by OvRiDe; 08-21-2011 at 11:13 PM.

  7. #7
    100% Recycled Pixels. Twigsoffury's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV Studios: Why do you insist on killing good things?

    you know i would be fine with the "regular" commercial breaks provided i'm presented with the full episode,if you haven't noticed tons of hulu shows have snippets clipped out of the episode for some odd reason? Saturday night live being one i can think of off the top of my head

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