Netflix vs Hulu: Round 1

We’ve all had the major scare last week with Murdock’s News Co, fledgling Hulu Chief Deputy CEO announcing to our shocked readers that they would “soon consider” charging fees for the Hulu service as early as 2010. Rest assure my newbies, someone over at Hulu has since thrown a net around this guy and now they’ve retracted that statement. Phewww!   The blogosphere was in an uproar and I think the cry was heard by the Hulu execs, “WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ FEES!”

cryingbaby

Sorry Hulu!

Sorry Hulu, you’ve made your own bed and now you have to sleep in it. You’ve got millions of viewers hooked on your FREE service and now, with no value add whatsoever, you’re considering charging!? Smells like a bait and switch to me and it seems the REST OF THE WORLD!

Netflix got it right. Provide an original value-added service, charge a flexible reasonable fee structure and PEOPLE WILL PAY for it.  Now Netflix provides on demand streaming of over 10,000 TV shows and films, direct to your TV, Desktop, I-phones and just about any device you wish to consume content on. And if they’re smart over at Netflix (and I believe they are) they’re just biding their time, waiting for the smoke to clear around their rivals.

Netflix already has millions of happy paying customers, ready and willing to plop down their 20 bucks a month for unlimited DVD’s and Unlimited On Demand downloads. They’ve improved their streaming interface as well and the performance is great. I personally watch dozens of movies, TV shows and the like each week,  served up by Netflix.  I’ve even hooked up my widescreen HD via “S Video Cable and Audio” so I don’t have to hunch over the computer screen.

Once the majors get the message they’ll have to downsize their bloated salary and production budgets to play along. Make the content better, do it for a smaller production budget and offer it over a subscription service.

Hulu does have some fresher content and a snazzier UI (user interface), but  C’mon guys, we’re not that stupid, you’ve got to come up with something better if you want to get paid. Too bad you’ve hooked your wagon to the big boys, because they’re never going to let you continue operating at a loss and your audience won’t stand for paying fees AND watching commercial interruptions, when it’s been free all this time.

Once the smoke clears, and all these “FREE” sites go under from their own ill planned schemes, the major Alphabets and Production studios will have to pay the piper and deal with the 3000 pound gorilla in the room (ie Netflix or someone like it).  

ScreenPens has long-backed the right horse in this competition. The winning model is, “Unlimited choice, anytime we want it, on any device, for a reasonable monthly price”. (see ScreenPens article on Making $$$ in the Web2.0 Verse) . – MP

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