The New York Post is reporting that Hulu’s ad-supported free ride may eventually end, at least if the television networks have anything to say about it. That’s because the streaming company may one day require viewers to authenticate a cable or satellite TV account in order to let the good times roll on.
This current authentication scheme, referred to as “TV Everywhere” — is in use by HBO for the pay cable channel’s HBO Go app on various platforms, and the Fox network is scheming to introduce the model to Comcast viewers as well, and CNN too.
“The move toward authentication is fueled by cable companies and networks looking to protect and profit from their content,” the report notes. “The effort comes as entertainment companies continue to face drastic shifts in home viewing habits. Overall spending on home entertainment edged up 2.5 percent to $4.45 billion in the first quarter as a surge in digital streaming — which rose more than fivefold to $549 million — offset a continuing collapse in video rentals, according to Digital Entertainment Group.”
I use Netflix much more than Hulu, mostly due to convenience. Netflix is on the AppleTV and Hulu is absent. Though I would like to find a decent news show that does not follow this authentication method, since I do not have a cable subscription at all.