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October 13, 2015

Hulu to Change Business Model?

by Jean Bentley, posted Jan 27th 2011 5:25PM
HuluWhen Hulu first debuted its free online video-watching service in 2008, it was a way for networks like NBC and Fox to circumvent illegal downloading.

Now, three years later, many consumers exclusively watch TV online. Free streaming is cutting into the networks' traditional revenue streams, causing Fox, NBC Universal and Disney to reconsider Hulu's business model.

In a wonderfully in-depth story this morning, The Wall Street Journal examined the form Hulu could take in the future. Would you watch Hulu if it were a live-streaming cable provider instead of its current iteration?

Because the way people watch TV has changed, networks must figure out how to distribute their content without losing money. Or, as the WSJ put it, "how soon to release movies or shows online without destroying their value in other lucrative 'windows' such as DVDs or reruns on cable TV -- and at what price."

Their solution? Instead of a content hub, be a content provider. "Hulu management has discussed recasting Hulu as an online cable operator that would use the Web to send live TV channels and video-on-demand content to subscribers," reports the WSJ.

Honestly, that's great news. While Hulu is convenient, completely changing the way the site works shows that the networks aren't adverse to innovation. They're willing to adapt to the consumers instead of forcing us to figure out ways to circumvent their outdated technology. Plus, an online cable network sounds fascinating.

Tell us: Would you still use Hulu if the site changed completely?

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Chris Thomas

This is the worst idea ever. No one will pay to watch a live streaming online cable service. People watch hulu now because it is convenient and free. You take those two away and people will stick to more traditional models. If this is Comcast's way of killing Hulu I guarantee it will work.

January 28 2011 at 8:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Han Solo


Welcome to the 80's when we couldn't figure out how to work our VCR clocks.

No one wants to watch anything 'live' except sports and moon landings.

January 27 2011 at 10:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DiMeo

As long as I don't have to subscribe or pay for it I love HULU

January 27 2011 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

not really, I watch very little network TV as it is. So why pay for something I will not watch anyway. Like HULU PLUS, why pay for it when I don't need it. plus the only stuff on hulu I watch is the older stuff and I can really live without those reruns if I have to.

January 27 2011 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rat Phink

Only if it was a la carte programming. I'm sick of being gouged by cable and satellite over a ton of channels I never watch. Let me choose, and get some on demand throw in some freebie and I'm there.

January 27 2011 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Only if I can get it through my Roku. I don't want to watch TV on a small screen if I don't have to. I would subscribe if I could get on demand current TV on my big LCD TV

January 27 2011 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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