Hulu has slowly but surely become network television’s biggest nightmare. The online programming giant started out as a healthy alternative for watching your favorite shows when its parent companies NBC, ABC, and Fox gave it exclusive content to stream online. Little did they know that in today’s high-tech world of convenience the internet staple could become a serious threat.
Thanks to its partnership with the major networks Hulu has access to plenty of quality programming, which of course is ad supported. According to the Business Insider, a close source to the site’s parent companies is saying that Hulu is “actively subverting” its ad sales for its buyers. In a way, they’re going over the network’s heads and finding newer, cheaper ways to generate revenue.
In a nutshell, Hulu is “selling better ads at cheaper rates,” which could be a good thing now, but if it begins to seriously affect their bosses they may have a problem. By contract Hulu isn’t allowed to sell ads for specific television shows they can only sell to demographics or genres. The networks on the other hand can sell their shows, which means at the end of the day, they can ask for a premium.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Hulu is trying to weasel its way onto its bosses’ turf, but there is an unspoken animosity between the two. They both serve purposes for each other to thrive, yet sooner or later they’re going to eventually come to a head. In my opinion, Hulu and online viewing in general has become an easy replacement for conventional television watching. Without sounding like a big cliche’ internet viewing really is the wave of the future. That’s why Google bought YouTube, and that’s why a lot of cable networks like HBO are launching online versions of their channels for a fee.
Things are constantly changing, and everyone is trying to make money. It will be interesting to see the changes Hulu and network television make over the next 5 years.
Do you think Hulu is trying to undercut its bosses? Do you watch regular TV or online television more?