Well this puts a bit of a dampener on the future of media. Hulu, launched in 2006 to jeers and snide remarks from the tech press, only to become the 6th most popular destination in the US, has been deemed “too popular” by the cable networks and content providers. Their gripes? Well, as you’d expect it’s the usual: less DVD units sold, reduced cable revenue, ad money going into the net and away from traditional media, blah blah blah …
And this just after we hear rumours leaking on Hulu’s “imminent UK launch”.
Who might be behind this? Of course, the grand old duke of old media, Rupert Murdoch, and his News Corp. dinosaurs. Having been burnt by “the future of technology” in their ill-timed MySpace buyout, they’re now circling the wagons around whatever dollar-making properties they have left, and fighting to keep them monetized at all costs. So Fox-owned FX ask for their shows to be removed from Hulu, and Murdoch turns on the charm offensive (ha!) and let’s the world know that “free is dead” and “the current days of the internet will soon be over”.
Good luck with that Rupert! Surely you’ve heard that information wants to be free?