Many of you know I bought an AppleTV and immediately hacked it to allow me to watch TV shows. This involved installing Boxee, and then using that open source software to stream Hulu. Well, this week Hulu says they were forced by their content providers to stop Boxee from streaming their shows (which, by the way, included the advertising that Hulu inserted).
Hulu appeared “sorrowful” but apparently couldn’t convince their content providers that content is meant to be viewed.
What is most odd (and disturbing) is that Hulu has not only not shared which content providers strong-armed them, but they have also not share any rationale for why these content providers wanted Boxee stopped. Remember, it was just streaming to a “full screen” shows exactly as they would be viewed on your computer. The only real difference is that I am more comfortable and watching (in my case) on a larger screen.
I left a comment on Hulu’s site:
Okay–I too bought an Apple TV specifically to watch Hulu (and CBS) on my TV. I even made the decision to canceling cable TV.
Of course let me say that, while I thought Hulu was cool, I didn’t watch on my computer. Sorry–the chair isn’t comfortable for WORK, why sit in it for pleasure?
So what has this decision done for me? Made me realize that perhaps I watch too much TV.
Fox. NBC. Any other providers.
HEAR THIS: I will not watch you on Hulu. AND I will not be going back to Network TV to watch you either.
Do I expect anything close to the response we saw from Facebook? Nope. Of course not. The old media establishment is far too entrenched to let something like viewers get in the way of their decisions.
But this does once again bring to the fore the discussion questions:
- Who are the customers for a business (such as hulu)?
- Do you have responsibilities to your users/viewers if they are not directly paying you?
- Are “advertisers” really the customer since they are paying directly?
- How does one measure the fact that viewers/users are the indirect sources of revenue since they are the target of the advertisers?
Any and all thoughts are appreciated.