I talked about this in today's Daily Trae - but since so few people watch those compared to the number of people who read this blog, I figured I should cover the ground in this space as well. For the three of you who may pay attention to both, I apologize. You'll live though.
For those unaware, I use the online service Hulu quite a bit for watching shows on my computer. I've been an avid user since the Beta, and it's largely how I consume TV that I don't get a chance to watch live.
Over the history of Hulu, there have been varying lengths of delays to how fast new shows go online. Many pop online the next day, while others are delayed a week. Lately though, delays have been getting longer and longer - some extending as far as thirty days. That's right, a month after the airing.
Now, I don't know about you, but this means that if I miss an episode of one of these shows I can't ever go back to watching the show live on air. It's just an impossibility if I want to watch TV legally. Now I'm rather sure that I'm not the only person in this situation, and as live TV ratings hold a higher monetary value versus online stuff, it means it's making me and many others less valuable consumers to their advertisers.
Now, there is a solution to my problem - and it's not a solution the studios will like. What is it?
A few hours after most shows air, I could have the episodes on my computer - ready to watch whenever I want. No ads, full video quality, at no cost to me. I'd rather do things legally (and intend to keep doing so), but the temptation exists... and it keeps growing every day. By delaying the shows, the studios are actually encouraging me to pirate the programs.
It makes me ask, if the point of Hulu was to make money off of people who would otherwise pirate the same shows, why neuter the service this much? I understood the week delays (for stations that would rerun the shows later that week at least), but a month? That's just insane and shortsighted.
But what do I know, I'm just your target audience.