December 3rd, 2008

lego me

Hulu Hoops

I've noticed more and more shows appearing on hulu lately which they don't host. Search for Dexter, Pushing Daisies, or South Park and you'll notice that there are links back to Showtime, ABC, and Comedy Central respectively. It's a bit annoying that I can't add these "foreign" shows to my Hulu queue, but overall I'm impressed. Hulu's operators are trying to make themselves into the primary online gateway for all television. The situation with streaming video currently reminds me of the music industry circa 2002. Napster was dead, the labels realized that they had to go online, and they each set up their own stovepiped music stores. But consumers don't think "I really like that band on EMI". They form attachments to certain acts and get frustrated when they have to go to several different places for their music. Similarly, it is a pain to get online video from each of the networks' sites with their differing formats and logic. Hulu made the decision to risk directing eyeballs away from their own site in order to position themselves as a one-stop-shop. That's wicked smart.

Incidentally, I'm currently trying to decide whether or not to bother acquiring any equipment for February's DTV transition. Online video is good enough that it barely seems worth buying an eyeTV. It's funny that the feds dragged their feet long enough on this technology to introduce it just after it became obsolete.