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.
Much like you, I use Netflix to watch TVs and movies. Unlike you I do not use ATV. I have been a fan of Boxee for sometime. I recently purchased a Boxee box, which also streams Netflix with a great interface. Boxee has something unique in that you can stream live news. Unfortunately, the news stations that allow themselves to be streamed do not appeal to me. Nonetheless, you can get live news.
I can’t believe it took this long for Hulu to start authenticating. Did their customers really think they were going to get this free forever? I have a Dish account, and with the new Blockbuster @ Home movie package I get over 100,000 titles streaming or by mail. I also pay less per month than Netflix subscribers, and I don’t have to watch content on my computer if I don’t want to, as is the case with much of Hulu’s content. My boss at Dish told me I could also get BB @ Home free for three months. It looks like the providers are biting back. I’m sticking with Dish over here!