Hulu is Changing the Way I Watch TV

When hulu – Fox and NBC’s joint online video venture -was announced I didn’t give it much thought. ABC already allows people to view episodes of popular shows online, so I figured this would be much the same. Mike signed up for the private beta but I didn’t bother. After getting his invite Mike told me it was awesome so without much thought I decided to put my name in for the beta and see if I could take it for a spin.

Now I’m addicted to it. Seriously, it’s amazing.

Miss an episode of The Simpsons? It’s on hulu the next morning. Want to watch an episode of 24 from Season 1? It’s on hulu too. Do you love old shows like Arrested Development or Futurama? Yup, they’re on hulu.

The best part is that I can login from any web browser and within seconds have an episode running in decent full-screen quality. No software, no downloads, no fees. There are only limited commercials – about 45 seconds per 20 minute episode, all from the same sponsor.

Even cooler, I’ve started discovering new shows that I’ve never watched before. A lot of friends have told me that It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is hilarious. I honestly didn’t even know what network it was on yet alone what day and time, but I threw on a few episodes from hulu the other day and loved it so much that I went over to Amazon and purchased the first two seasons on DVD! This is exactly what they hope people do considering it’s a free service, and I’m more than happy to fork out $29.99 for some DVDs if I really like a show…so everyone wins 🙂

I’m really excited to see what they’ll do once they come out of private beta. I’m actually HOPING that they start charging. I’d gladly pay $10 – $20 a month if they:

  • Made every single episode available all the time (right now it’s spotty at best for most shows).
  • Made more movies available….not just a few “classics” like The Breakfast Club.
  • Got a few more networks to sign up. I don’t like anything on CBS, so I’d settle for ABC and their family of networks (including ESPN of course)
  • Sold me (or rented me) a hulu box that I could plug into my TV to watch. This sort of blends in with the On-Demand service that most cable providers offer, but I think hulu is already better than On-Demand so I’d just assume have my own hulu box. Who needs a DVR when everything is available anytime you want it? Hell, who needs DVDs if everything is available anytime you want it (assuming the quality is on par)? This would kick the crap out of Apple TV

Oh, and you can also embed full episodes on your site:

5 comments on Hulu is Changing the Way I Watch TV

  1. Ne says:

    I’d say this whole paid/box thing is something they’d be reluctant to do first, or early on.

    It’s a tricky area of canabalisation. The Networks know how to make money from traditional TV. They don’t know how to do it online. In General, a lot of ‘media companies’ have been burned trying to get ‘online media’ profitable.

    Now internet tv is making a lot of noise. People say things like ‘of course internet tv will take over eventually.’ They are not sure how though. Set top box’s? Purpose built tv ‘PCs’?

    Anyway it could (they hope) take another 10+ years. When it hits it could kill the old networks with ad dollars drying up.

    TV production was built on mass branding & mass products. True ‘on demand’ will encourage niche interests. It could mean breaking every 20m per episode show into 100 200k shows or 1000 20k shows & trying to replace every $250m ad contract with 10,000 $25,000 clients.

    This may be coming anyway. But I would be surprised to see Big Networks take the lead on it.

    This kind of business is just not on their resume. So I think that the prudent networks will tread lightly. Expirementing & keeping options open.

    That may well mean that some little upstart takes the cheese. But C’est la vie.

    The railroads never did start airlines.

  2. Adam McFarland says:


    Great reply. You are definitely correct. I was making my observations very much from a consumer standpoint, not so much from the network’s side of things.

    I do think it will happen…eventually. A combination of ads the way hulu does them with a monthly subscription would recoup some portion of the ad dollars they get now.

    As you said, networks might be slow to adjust, but hulu is at least evidence that Fox/NBC understand that consumers want their tv this way and they’d rather control it than have some young upstart come along.

    And honestly, I don’t even care that much about the tv box. It takes two seconds to hook up the s-video output on my laptop to my TV….and you can already buy HD TVs/Monitors that’ll do both for you. The line is becoming blurred, and in the next 10 years it’ll probably become even more blurred.

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