I’d like to share something I’ve gone through with Hulu a couple of months ago; I think it makes a great blog post. Actually, it wasn’t Hulu’s fault, it was the movie studio. A while ago I written an article discussing the fact that the movie industry is going through the same withdrawals the music industry had here. What I’m about to share with you is a perfect example of that. I wanted to watch a particular show I thought it looked good. However, I quickly noticed that episodes were not consistent. In other words, episodes were missing! I could not understand that because it was a new show, and Hulu is very good at making sure current episodes are available. Well, much to my disappointment, when I called Hulu, they told me it was because of that good o’l licensing. The license agreement they had for said show, was to only have 8 episodes at one time, from the last/most current show aired on television. WTF?
Now, I had to remember that it’s not Hulu’s fault. However, as a consumer, many people may not realize that, anytime a copyright holder omits episodes from streaming services, they actually make more money by forcing you to buy a $2 episode from Amazon, or an entire season on disc, just to watch a couple of episodes (defeating the purpose of having a streaming service). Now, they know most people are not going to start watching a show out of sequence (unless they know that each episode does not link to each other, such as “Law & Order”). These are the kinds of tactics that would make people use torrents. The whole reason we use streaming services is because quality physical media is far too expensive; and when I say expensive, I mean most of us really can’t afford it in this economy. There is no reason why that copyright holder couldn’t make it more affordable, and grant us access to all of the episodes. They’re doing the same things with movies. And they let you know “this movie blah blah blah will not be available on Netflix for a long time.” They really need to stop, and understand the economic landscape has changed. You know, maybe it’s not just the movie studios, maybe the issue really is the actors that command an extraordinary amount of money that force studios to do this? I don’t know. But the good thing so far (as far as I’m concerned), not only is music now affordable (at a streaming premium), it’s also legally free via internet radio w/ads and Youtube w/ads. It’s going to take the movie industry a lot longer to adjust their old mindsets and set their licensing prices fairly. You know, after the old original P2P Napster (not to be confused with today’s Napster, formally known as Rhapsody) almost single handed brought down the music industry to it’s knees in the 80s, you’d think the movie industry would take a hint. But I digress.