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Frank22

I don't need another source of shows so $10 for an expanded Hulu is not worth it to me.

What gets me is that the article says Hulu will be eventually get to the same commercial load as regular TV. TV many years ago had 52 minutes of show an hour it went down to 48 and now is at 42. It is an important reason we value our DVR's and non network sources of shows. We have to pay for our entertainment somehow, it is just the amount of commercials makes that payment to high. Less commercials would make them more valuable because we might watch them and not DVR as much. I think the Networks have killed themselves, and now they want to spread the pain.

John Dover

It will be interesting to see how the haters on the 28-day window (not that I like it, mind) that have threatened to leave for Redbox will respond to this. My guess is that they didn't go anywhere, if Redbox's 20 movies per machine satisfies your queue you would never be happy at Netflix. I don't see BB keeping their deal too long, sound like they gave too much away to the studios in return for the ability to rent during that month.

BP

@Frank22

Do you really think that "The Honeymooners" cost as much to make as "Frasier", "The Rifleman" as much as "Lost", "Charlie's Angels" as much as "CSI Miami" and so on and so forth?

Television has consistently risen in quality. Sure, it might just be technical quality (set locations, set detail, cinematography, etc.) and the actors might be of a bigger name and bigger paycheck - God knows the writing hasn't gotten any better - but to deny that television has grown in leaps and bounds since even the 90s is absurd.

These days even the lowest budgeted shows are in possession of a far superior production value than even the most expensive show made in the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s. Just look at Craig Ferguson - you could quite literally make his show out of the Unibomber's shack and even he has a robot. A fucking robot. Did Steve Allen have a robot? No, I think not.

To wit, as the cost of television has risen so has the need for more funding and, as of the last time I checked - now, to be exact - nobody in this country pays a fee to watch broadcast TV and what little income the cable networks get from subscriptions isn't even enough to pay for morning donuts.

Are television networks greedy? Yes. Do they make money hand over fist? Yes. Do we really need 18 minutes of commercials an hour? No. Are we - the fickle mob - getting exactly what we asked for? You betcha. In case you don't quite understand what I'm saying by that, let me just say that boy, I sure can't wait to watch Avatar at home on my new 3D tv with my new 22.2 sound system - it's the ONLY way to watch movies!

Frank22

BP, understood about the extra cost to produce. The thing is there are MANY more people now, meaning commercial revenue should have gone up. Also there are other sources of revenue. Including a lucrative world market and DVD sales. The increased population should mean increased economies of scale that would more than offset the extra cost to produce. Now defection from the networks and DVRing has offset this, but this at lease somewhat due the increased commercials.

You may be partly correct, I am not sure, I do know that the amount of commercials has been a huge reason for the decline in direct viewership, it is really a supply and demand pricing curve and many have decided the price(amount of commercials) is too high.

You also agreed that 18 minutes is too much. So I guess we are just arguing about the amount of minutes?


Derik

@John Dover

I'm confused. As a "hater" of the window policy, I was told to go to Redbox for "new releases" because Netflix "didn't do new releases".

Now what am I supposed to do?

Racket

BP, it is my understanding that there are no residuals paid for online viewing at this time. The cost to deliver a one hour video online is less than 3 cents per viewer, in contrast to paying corporate fees, FCC licensing fees, affiliate staffing, and all the other personnel to run a TV station. The cost to create entertainment may be up over the 1990s but the cost to deliver it has been reduced to pennies thanks to internet streaming. The entertainment industry wants to take the current cable model that gets them paid many times for the same content and foist it onto the internet. To pay for Hulu and then have to watch it only on my PC AND have the exact same commercial load at on regular TV will make it fail miserably because it relegates Hulu to a time shift only advantage and that can be accomplished with a DVR and a subscription.

TOHO

At the risk of sounding like a Netflix fanboy, I think Hulu is making one mistake after another. Specifically, I don't mind paying for access to movies & television shows online ( I do it already with NF). However, Hulu has been notorious for pulling access to their shows through alternative means (i.e. Boxee). Because of that, they don't have the penetration Netflix does to make the idea of paying a monthly fee palatable.

For example, your average consumer would be more likely to buy a blu-ray player that streams Netflix movies before going through the somewhat arduous task of connecting their computer directly to their TV (the only means of getting Hulu that I know of presently).

I really think Netflix has the momentum that Hulu lacks due to greed and overzealous content protection.

BP

@Frank

Naw, man, not arguing. Sorry - my writing style is incredibly vitriolic and I forget that when posting on message boards. Plus, when I try and make an actual point I turn into a long-winded blowhard. Like as follows...

@Frank & Racket

Your post was really just a springboard for me to say that the entire system is broken. We, as consumers, are fickle. We demand high quality (at least, technically) content. We demand it consistently. We will quite literally drop it like (and while) its hot, for no reason at all. Some shows we'll never even pick up on until they reach cult status via DVD. This leaves the networks constantly scrambling to both catch up _and_ stay ahead of the game (they used to MAKE the rules of the game when television was new, still novel and dangerous). That costs money. This also perpetuates the cycle - we're always looking forward to that next new hot thing and tend to leave behind last seasons winners.

There is also the fact that, as publicly traded companies, the networks are all constantly trying to increase revenue and profits. They have two lovers they have to please: the viewing public and the stockholders. If DVD sales and product placements are stagnating and you're just left with advertising revenue then sure, of course, you'll charge more for the ads and try and put as many of them into a timeslot as possible. They've gotta make their 15% just the same as any other public company in any other industry does. It's my understanding that advertising revenue for Hulu wasn't anywhere near - I'm talking light years away - what it is for "real" tv. IIRC, Hulu's only made $100m since opening. That's not enough revenue for one network to produce a year's worth of prime time television, let alone having to split it between all the partners involved.

So where does this leave us? James Cameron and co. had to spend upwards of $500m just to make $2bln. How much did theaters invest in 3D technology? With the transition to HD all of the networks have ramped up production value on all of their shows. Even the scripted comedies and reality shows look Hollywood slick. How many shows are shot on location now? Again, costs are rising. There was an article from January detailing the fact that ad costs for the Superbowl had been slashed to half what they once were, and that's still better than how much cheaper advertising has gotten for regular shows.

Look, I agree with you guys. Commercials suck. More of them will just drive more people away from television. À la carte pricing would be fantastic, but that would put both advertisers and networks in a bad place - "why am I paying money for this if I still have to see all these commercials?" - and we all know old media dinosaurs like the tv networks hate change.

My point is that we're all to blame. Same with the music industry. We, the consumers, have god-awfully unreasonable demands and are almost impossible to please. That means that people like Sumner Redstone and Jeff Zucker will do whatever it takes to make a dime, including sending shows like Arrested Development up the river and reviving Family Guy based on DVD sales. It also means that they'll charge more for advertising that they know a majority of Americans have no problem fast forwarding through, which means advertisers are willing to pay less and less for a devalued product.

In post-war America we became wealthy enough to afford nice things. Not just one or two, but three or four or five or six. First was publishing - books, newspapers, etc. Then came radio and, quick on its heels, movies. Then television. Then video games. Then the internet. Fantastic, right? No. We have all of these things, but we don't value any of them.

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1614726702

I adore Hulu...but I can't imagine anything they could add that would make it worth $9.95 a month to me.

Now the commercials I don't mind a bit, and if they added more I still wouldn't mind. I'd rather have more commercials than pay cold hard cash. But that's just me.

ArmorForVictor

FYI on the Hulu subscriptions the rumor is it's going to be called Hulu plus which allows you to watch whole seasons of shows whenever you want instead of the only 5 recent episodes at a time they have now also it's being said Hulu will still have free service to watch the 5 recent episodes like it's currently doing Hulu plus seems like something for people who don't have Netflix to stream imo

The Whiz

I'll be at Blockbuster when it opens at 10 tomorrow. "It's Complicated" was a fun watch, want to see it again. Not good enough to buy though, even WITH Meryl (the guys aren't too shabby either). Nancy Meyers' movies are pretty fluffy.

I bill on the 5th. May will be my first month of 1 out at a time w/Blu-ray access here on Streamflix. Until Blockbuster closes or unless they drop the new releases, I'll be getting most of my stuff through them.

PatB

Why are people watching all these commercials? I have a typical set up for cable TV and Home Theater. I have the Motorola setbox box from Comcast that contains a disk for recording. I also have a Logitech Harmony remote control.

I know that about twenty minutes of an hour show is junk - commercials or credits. So if for example I want to watch "House" at 8:00PM. I set it up to be recorded starting at 8:00. I watch something else or do something else for twenty minutes and then start watching House at 8:20 from the recorder's playback. When the first commercial starts I just push the Fast Forward button and it jumps forward one minute (or is it a minute and a half?). I click a couple times and I have skipped over that commercial. As I do this the saved portion decreases such that at 9:00 the recording is in synch with the real time broadcast. No commercials.

This doesn't work of course for NetFlix WI but it doesn't matter because NetFlix WI doesn't have commercials.

If I understand the Hulu proposal they will have commercials and I wouldn't be able to skip past them. Did I get that right? And they want me to pay for this?

Frank22

They should have a micro payment system. A show here and there would probably add up to more than they will get this way. Or have a one time payment go towards a set number of shows or a series.

Satorical

Hulu is 2010's Napster.

tiffany1837co

To wit, as the cost of television has risen so has the need for more funding and, as of the last time I checked - now, to be exact - nobody in this country pays a fee to watch broadcast TV and what little income the cable networks get from subscriptions isn't even enough to pay for morning donuts.

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