We reported earlier last week that Hulu will be making it’s way to the iPad (iPhone and iPod touch will likely follow suit). Since that possibility was leaked, more information has come through the grapevine… and it’s not going to make you happy.
It appears that the three owning studios — ABC, NBC, and FOX — have been trying to figure out a way to make more money from Hulu besides the already annoying ads. This will probably result in a premium model that will give us access to more content. Currently, shows available on Hulu contain the latest three episodes (on average). That’s always been our biggest issue with Hulu: we can’t watch anything older than a few weeks. Even the networks’ online players tend to limit shows to the current season. Anyone else want to watch old seasons of Big Bang Theory?
So what does this premium model look like? It’s been suggested that paid users will have access to content on three devices: a computer, a TV and a mobile device. That seems like a pretty big step backwards to us. Just this last year, Apple gave us a great music sharing tool with iTunes Home Sharing. It lets us copy all of our content between computers on our home network. Granted this is still limited to Apple’s 5-computer model and requires you to sign into an iTunes Store account BUT there’s no limit for mobile devices. So, what makes Hulu think we should be limited to three devices?
Step back from the question for a sec… we don’t actually own any content with Hulu. We would be paying them for streamed content we can get from countless other sources — sources that would allow us to own it. Buy a season DVD, buy individual shows on iTunes, get a season pass on iTunes, there’s also the nefarious world of illegal acquisitions (we’re not recommending that one) — all of those options give us content that we own. Most of us already pay for cable or satellite and most of those companies won’t offer us internet packages without a TV option. So, what’s driving us to subscribe to another paid TV application that still restricts our access?
Sounds like a bad deal to us.