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Hbi2k

The thing about Hulu for Netflix subscribers is that there's only this tiny little window where their premium content is at all relevant. Brand new stuff I can watch just as easily on the free version of Hulu. Stuff that's out on DVD I can get from Netflix. There's not much in between that would make the subscription service attractive.

The only other feature Hulu Plus will add that is relevant to me is the ability to watch on video game consoles. The thing is, it boggles my mind why they would put this feature behind a pay wall. In an ad-supported model, it's in the content provider's best interest to get their content in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Making people pay extra for service on some platforms (video game consoles, mobile phones) but not others (PCs) flies in the face of that, particularly as the overhead does not significantly increase as more platforms are added.

I'm keeping a close eye on Hulu Plus because I believe that more competition in the subscription-model streaming video business can only benefit consumers in the long run, but so far I'm not seeing much reason to take the plunge.

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I have a confession: I've been using Hulu since it launched, and I like it. My favorite feature is the the way it notifies me of new episodes of shows by e-mail so I don't have to worry about missing an episode. No single service will be able to offer all content, and I see Hulu Plus and both a competitor and compliment to Netflix.

pdq

Unfortunately, if they run it like Comcast has been running their cable service they will gradually move more and more content to the premium service until you can't get anything interesting for free.

PS3 fanboi

"I see Hulu Plus and both a competitor and compliment to Netflix."

You mean complEment.

[So much for five years of college. Compliment is my kryptonite. Thanks - Mike]

capnjck

how did you get s preview invite?

Mike

Capnjck, I signed up like everyone else. I did it immediately after they announced, so I'm probably just a little bit ahead of you. They'll probably roll it out in waves, so be patient.

Anyone else get a preview invite?

- Mike

Bob Emmerich

I got my "preview" invite this morning after signing up for it a couple of weeks ago on PS+.
And while it may seem a bit hypocritical of me after paying the $50 to sign up for PS+ (actually a birthday present from my wife who hates to shop for such things) I am not paying $10 per month "starting today" as the webpage says to watch tv.

And am I the only one who thinks a "preview" implies some type of free or discounted introductory period to get me to try it out b/c otherwise I feel like I am paying for the privilege of being a beta tester, no matter how they market it.

CJ

The only fly in the ointment for me about Hulu is that I have no interest in inane Network sitcoms. I rather spend my time watching Netflix movies...

tsrblke

My biggest problem with Hulu appears to still exist and that seems to be the randomness with their liscening agreements. All 32 seasons of SNL, but only 2 back seasons of house? Furthermore, I doubt they'll be able to garuntee the selection stability. If what I'm paying for is access to the back catalog of episodes, and they start losing those, then what?

Racket

I just don't see the value in the service. For $1 more I can get the current season of a lot of TV shows but in some cases not the older seasons and I can watch commercials.

This just seems like an ill conceived idea forced onto Hulu by the networks. I stopped watching Network TV specifically because of the commercials. I can tolerate a 30 second commercial, maybe even 2 on a free service, but I am not going to pay for that any more.

There is nothing compelling about Hulu Plus other than I can watch it on my mobile device, and this is an artificial construct where the entertainment industry is offering me free service on my PC but wants to charge me for mobile.

PS3 fanboi

"The only fly in the ointment for me about Hulu is that I have no interest in inane Network sitcoms."

Hear, hear! Unless they throw in Showtime or HBO into the mix, it's just not worth my money or time...

Shawn

I want it on my Roku!

Christopher

I have no real interest in paying a fee to watch tv shows that I can rent on dvd through netflix. One other thing that turns me off from paying for the hulu plus is you still get the ads what a rip off if you ask me.

PatB

NetFlix isn't a success because of dumb luck. It has a large number of features that are well thought out and efficient. There are dozens of other configurations that are possible given the same elements - new movies, old movies, TV shows, DVDs, the US Mail, and the Internet. But almost all of these potential configurations will be losers for one reason or another.

Often in American business it isn't the first one to market that wins but the second. This was Microsoft's strategy. MS Word arrived after WordStar and Word Perfect but it triumphed because it had a mix of features and benefits that it had learned about from the experience of the earlier products.

So Hulu has an opportunity to learn from NetFlix and correct its mistakes or improve its service. So these guys at Hulu looked at NetFlix and decided to improve on it by adding commercials? Did I miss something? Have there been a lot of user complains on this forum about how NetFlix needs to raise prices and add commercials?

The Hulu notion seems like a pure loser to me. I'm not very good at appreciating nascent business opportunities but the Hulu idea seems so obviously defective that I have little doubt that it will be gone soon enough.

It's easy to imagine a service that is better than NetFlix. It would be cheaper, have a larger selection of titles, and have better delivery and customer service. That isn't Hulu.

fttw

I agree with the above statement. Netflix was well timed and well run. It provides an excellent service at an aggressive and attractive price, and has consistently launched successful, innovative solutions that the rest of the industry thought would never work. That's called foresight, and it is the the basis of Netflix's success. There's no dumb luck about it.

(I wonder how many people here recall that just a year ago most people were predicting Netflix's imminent demise?)

But anyway, I agree that right now Hulu and Netflix is a complementary package. For me right now, the value in Hulu is both selection and, most importantly, portability. When the Netflix iPhone app launches, I'll play with both for a few months before I will know for sure if one or the other proves superior, or if that compatibility will remain. Right now, I rather expect the latter.

As a footnote, its worth mentioning that Netflix's streaming product has been around for about two years now, and has only recently opened up to a decent catalog of material. People made the very same complaints about it we are now hearing about Hulu. Balls in Hulu's court now to build on the platform.

Therobspecial

I refuse to sign up for Hulu Plus until ads are removed. The plain fact is that if you know where to look on the net, you can easily obtain full episodes of television in HD with no ads within hours of their airings. I would welcome the ease of having the episodes whenever I want them with the click of a button, but the ads kill it for me. There is *no* reason to have ads in a subscription model like this. None.

scout

If they got rid of the ads, put it on Roku and dropped the price to $7.99 I'd buy it. Otherwise no way

MiniMonkey

I like Hulu, but almost never watch it because I don't like sitting in front of my computer to watch TV. So the bonus of being able to watch on my TV via console is very tempting... but it seems kinda of ridiculous that they would charge extra for it. Even more ridiculous is they don't even remove the commercials.

Other than that, it sounds like the main draw to Hulu Plus is access to back episodes. But if it's only the current season (even the full one), that's not enough. I want ENTIRE runs of back episodes from every season. I use Netflix to watch TV shows I've never seen before... and if I'm going to watch a new series, I want to start with season ONE.

Full seasons are nice, but pointless if every season isn't offered.

Nathan

"As a footnote, its worth mentioning that Netflix's streaming product has been around for about two years now, and has only recently opened up to a decent catalog of material. People made the very same complaints about it we are now hearing about Hulu. Balls in Hulu's court now to build on the platform."

This is a somewhat valid point, but mileage may vary. Two years ago, the selection of Instant Watch movies wasn't anywhere near where it is now, but it wans't horrible. The first couple seasons of "The Office" was available then, if I recall correctly, and there was a fair amount of decent stuff to watch. It has obviously grown in leaps and bounds since then. Again, what I consider "a decent selection" may or may not agree with you.

Steve

If the remove the commercials, I will consider it. Either I pay or I watch commercials, I will not do both.

K

I wholly agree with Steve. I will not pay to view commercials.

Tomguy

I requested an 'invite' when Hulu+ was first announced. Never got a response.

Anyway, the $9.95 with commercials is crap. If they would drop the commercials and develop streaming via Roku, I would sign up. [From what I've read, they are having all kinds of problems with their specialized viewer program.]

I read an interview comment by a Hulu exec a few months ago. He said their intent is to increase commercials over time, until they have as many commercials as broadcast/cable TV. [And they want an extra $9.95 from subscribers, too.]

junior

I got my Hulu invite from someone on twitter that I found that had some invites left and he just sent me one and all I had to do was log in to my account with my username and password and sign up under my account. Invites are transferable. I did sign up on the web site but I never got a invite. I think the service is good and I also have netflix. I like to be able to watch tv shows on my iphone 4. I can't wait till netflix has the streaming on iphone.

Justin O'Neill

I will never understand this moral outrage at paying for a product that includes ads. I'm willing to bet that most of the people complaining about that pay for cable TV, which costs a lot more money and shows WAY more advertisements than Hulu Plus ever will.

Chuck

After cutting the cord in Jan 2009, I've been using Hulu and Playon for my TV Fix. I have grown accustomed to the 20 second commercials. My only complaint is that you often see the same one ALL the time (the "Girl Power" one is especially annoying). I would hope that a subscription model would not need to have commercials, but take a look at your local movie theater - most of them have you sit through 20 - 30 minutes of commercials before the trailers start. Do you see the advertisement affecting the price of tickets or concessions?

Shawn

The commercials on Hulu aren't as many as the ones on cable, there are way too many commercials on premium stations such as AMC and TNT.

The CEO of Hulu said there might be a commercial free version for ~$20 per month in the future.

http://techland.com/2010/07/08/hulu-considering-ad-free-hulu-plus-if-were-willing-to-pay-more/

Barbara

My problem with hulu is that I run a 64 bit version of Linux and Flash. Their videos won't run on my system at all. And Hulu doesn't seem interested in fixing it. So I don't use their service at all.

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Perkins Cobb

Why is anyone even talking about this? I've had devices that conveniently removed ads from TV shows for more than a decade. I can see why people would tolerate ads to see a new show for free, but if they're paying for it? Netflix or some other player should be able to swat this business model like a gnat.

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