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Main > Archives > 2008 > May > Murdoch on Hulu: Control Copyright and Beat Theft

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Murdoch on Hulu: Control Copyright and Beat Theft

A few months back, Universal and News Corp. launched Hulu, a streaming video service that offers television programming and movies on-demand at no cost.

The reason, Murdoch said this week, was that he wanted to make sure his company controlled the distribution of its content online. But Hulu offers an ad-supported model that gives easy, centralized access to content, which is always a winner online.

There was much fanfare surrounding the launch because it was a major step towards an aggregation service for all types of network and studio owned content -- and it was free. The move coincided with the major networks -- and some of the large cable outlets -- offering streaming content on their websites.

This is good news for one reason: you don't ever have to pay for cable again. With an Internet connection and a computer, you can watch just about every show you want to watch.

After years of legal wrangling between the music labels and movie studios, this was a welcome change. Since its launch, Hulu has partnered with other sites, which will also distribute its programming.

There's only one problem: there are limited offering online. Hulu has some first-run television programming; however, the bulk of its offerings are older television shows and not-so-great movies. And there's a healthy dose of movie clips, which is really frustrating since -- well, I don't care about clips. If I want to see the movie, I want to see the movie.

It's a classic mistake. In a digital world, people want access to everything, which is why Apple and Amazon continue to push with their digital businesses. Amazon will add video to its selection and Apple announced it would soon begin selling movies through iTunes. 

Still, Hulu has already snagged more viewers than any other network site -- and if the company can build an advertising model around the streams, I'd expect other networks to partner with Hulu for online distribution.

By Brad at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

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