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View Full Version : Hulu moving towards requiring a cable subscription


DJLinus
04-30-12, 06:08 PM
This plan can't lose!

TV in real dime
Hulu, networks to change model of free streaming
By CLAIRE ATKINSON
Last Updated: 8:37 AM, April 30, 2012
Posted: 11:34 PM, April 29, 2012

Viewers who stream network TV shows may soon discover the free ride is not so free.

Hulu, which attracted 31 million unique users in March under a free-for-all model, is taking its first steps to change to a model where viewers will have to prove they are a pay-TV customer to watch their favorite shows, sources tell The Post.

In fact, the move by Hulu toward the new model ó called authentication because viewers would have to log in with their cable or satellite TV account number ó was behind the move last week by Providence Equity Partners to cash out of Hulu after five years, these sources said.

And itís not just Hulu making it tougher for cable-cutters to stream shows and other content.

Fox, owned by News Corp., which also owns The Post, is expected to begin talks soon with Comcast on a TV Everywhere deal that will require authentication. Plus, Philadelphia-based Comcast is expected to switch to an authentication model for this summerís Olympic Games (see story at right).

The move toward authentication is fueled by cable companies and networks looking to protect and profit from their content.

The effort comes as entertainment companies continue to face drastic shifts in home viewing habits. Overall spending on home entertainment edged up 2.5 percent to $4.45 billion in the first quarter as a surge in digital streaming ó which rose more than fivefold to $549 million ó offset a continuing collapse in video rentals, according to Digital Entertainment Group.

Hulu, owned by News Corp., Disney, Comcast and Providence, could see its March audience, as measured by ComScore, shrink after authentication. Hulu racked up some $420 million in ad revenue last year and is expected to do well in this yearís ad negotiations.

But the move toward authentication, which could take years to complete, will make cable companies happy because it could slow cord-cutting by making cable subscribing more attractive.

At the same time, networks are asking cable companies for retransmission money, a process that could be more appetizing for Comcast and its rivals if their subscriber base stopped shrinking.

To be sure, Huluís slow move toward authentication comes amid a jumble of cable and network game plans for streaming ó which remain a strategic nightmare thanks to the complicated nature of the TV Everywhere initiative, which is aimed at keeping top shelf digital video exclusive to pay-TV subscribers.

Comcastís own NBCUniversal, for example, has a patchwork approach to authentication.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/tv_in_real_dime_ph0GiKk7rC9agDUEkHae2I

TheBigDave
04-30-12, 09:29 PM
I'm interested to see where they're going with this. It sucks for the cord cutters. But I'm a cable subscriber, so it doesn't bother me. And if this leads to more content deals, I see that as a positive.

Heat
04-30-12, 09:42 PM
How would the authentication work? Would they compare the Roku account name to the cable account name?

I was just trying to figure this out for HBOGo - a friend has HBO through his cable, I was wondering if I could get it on my Roku but only use it when he is visiting, of course.

TheBigDave
04-30-12, 10:13 PM
How would the authentication work? Would they compare the Roku account name to the cable account name?

I was just trying to figure this out for HBOGo - a friend has HBO through his cable, I was wondering if I could get it on my Roku but only use it when he is visiting, of course.

First, create an online account with your cable provider. Then you go to the HBOGo website and select your device (Roku, 360, PS3, etc) and cable provider. It asks you to sign-in using your cable provider login, and gives you a code. Go back to your device and enter the code.

You could probably have your friend go through the procedure and get a code for your Roku. I don't know what steps they take to detect/prevent abuse.

Heat
04-30-12, 11:45 PM
Whoah, HBOGo is pretty limited in who can access it. You have to get cable with HBO from one of these entities:

AT&T U-Verse
Charter
Cox
Dish
Mediacom
Optimum
RCN
Suddenlink
Verizon
Wow
Note that DirecTV is not on the list.

Where I live the cable company is Comcast, so HBOGo is not an option for my friend (and for me, if I had cable). With regard to Hulu - if they drop the monthly fee but require authentication, I'll be on it like white on rice.

Speaking of HBO - my friend was able to get it for $10 a month by calling Comcast and asking for a better price. If you have cable and want HBO, it wouldn't hurt to ask for a lower price.

TheBigDave
05-01-12, 12:13 AM
Where I live the cable company is Comcast, so HBOGo is not an option for my friend (and for me, if I had cable).

Comcast allows HBOGo on the 360 and on mobile devices (iPhone/iPad). But they don't like the Roku.

DJariya
05-01-12, 01:58 PM
I'm assuming this affects the "Free" version of Hulu.

I have Directv and subscribe to Hulu Plus. But I mainly use it as an extra DVR when my other DVRs get too full.

But yeah I can see some of the cord cutters who don't pay for Hulu Plus getting pissed about this.

DJariya
05-01-12, 02:02 PM
Comcast allows HBOGo on the 360 and on mobile devices (iPhone/iPad). But they don't like the Roku.

Directv also allows access to HBOGo on the Xbox 360 which I have. They also hate Roku for some reason.

Tarantino
05-01-12, 04:11 PM
I don't have cable right now. I use Hulu (the free version) to watch The Office and Modern Family each week. If they end up requiring a cable subscription, I will simply download the episodes illegally.

I have no need for cable.

Philzilla
05-01-12, 04:28 PM
Whoah, HBOGo is pretty limited in who can access it. You have to get cable with HBO from one of these entities:


Note that DirecTV is not on the list.

Where I live the cable company is Comcast, so HBOGo is not an option for my friend (and for me, if I had cable). With regard to Hulu - if they drop the monthly fee but require authentication, I'll be on it like white on rice.

Speaking of HBO - my friend was able to get it for $10 a month by calling Comcast and asking for a better price. If you have cable and want HBO, it wouldn't hurt to ask for a lower price.

How much does HBO normally cost, because I've had it with Dish and it has always been $10

Texan26
05-01-12, 05:39 PM
I don't have cable right now. I use Hulu (the free version) to watch The Office and Modern Family each week. If they end up requiring a cable subscription, I will simply download the episodes illegally.

I have no need for cable.

You can watch them on the NBC and ABC websites. That's all the free version of Hulu does anyway is put all the content from the network's websites in one convenient place.

Groucho
05-01-12, 05:59 PM
Hulu is a joke. If I want to stream to a box-top set I have to pay for Hulu Plus. Which would be fine...EXCEPT THEY KEEP THE ADS. Fuck that shit.

If this move means I can watch set top for free just by signing in with my cable subscription, that's cool.

Shannon Nutt
05-01-12, 06:18 PM
How much does HBO normally cost, because I've had it with Dish and it has always been $10

I think it's $17 a month if you get it a la carte. Most people get it as part of a package deal for a little less.

DJariya
05-01-12, 06:30 PM
HBO on Directv goes for $14.99 a month

Actually I have it combined with Showtime, Starz and Cinemax and pay about $45 a month as a package. That runs to about 11 bucks each. But keep in mind there is like 5-8 channels for each group. Your paying $45 for about 25-30 channels approximately.

DJariya
05-01-12, 06:35 PM
Hulu is a joke. If I want to stream to a box-top set I have to pay for Hulu Plus. Which would be fine...EXCEPT THEY KEEP THE ADS. Fuck that shit.

If this move means I can watch set top for free just by signing in with my cable subscription, that's cool.

That's the one thing I don't like about Hulu Plus. They are making $8 a month in revenue from subscribers, yet can't afford to make it commercial free? I understand why it has to be done for the free version.

Just a guess, but maybe there are additional costs to be able to stream it in 720p HD on your television & keeping content up an entire season.

DJariya
05-01-12, 06:38 PM
I don't have cable right now. I use Hulu (the free version) to watch The Office and Modern Family each week. If they end up requiring a cable subscription, I will simply download the episodes illegally.

I have no need for cable.

Does your OTA antenna not work? Like Texan just said, most of the shows on the networks can be watched through their network sites.

There is always Amazon Instant Video, but you have to pay for it on a per show basis. If you don't watch alot of TV, that might be a better alternative and it can be streamed through alot of BD players.

It's better than flat out pirating it.

The Bus
05-02-12, 04:27 AM
That's the one thing I don't like about Hulu Plus. They are making $8 a month in revenue from subscribers, yet can't afford to make it commercial free? I understand why it has to be done for the free version.

Just a guess, but maybe there are additional costs to be able to stream it in 720p HD on your television & keeping content up an entire season.

Display advertising isn't terribly expensive.

Tracer Bullet
05-02-12, 08:50 AM
If this happens I'd probably use Hulu more. I never thought Hulu+ was worth it for 8 bucks a month.

Philzilla
05-02-12, 11:10 AM
I think it's $17 a month if you get it a la carte. Most people get it as part of a package deal for a little less.

Thanks, that makes sense, I have the every HD channel you got package, or whatever its called

davidh777
05-02-12, 11:13 AM
Comcast is currently advertising HBO for $10 a month for six months to add it to an existing subscription

Hokeyboy
05-02-12, 02:04 PM
Where I live the cable company is Comcast, so HBOGo is not an option for my friend (and for me, if I had cable).
What are you talking about? I have Comcast (Xfinity) and have been using HBOGo for months. Your friend is massively misinformed.

Shannon Nutt
05-02-12, 02:29 PM
What are you talking about? I have Comcast (Xfinity) and have been using HBOGo for months. Your friend is massively misinformed.

I think he's talking about Roku access. If you have Comcast, you can't use HBO GO on the Roku.

Easy
05-02-12, 02:34 PM
I'm interested to see where they're going with this. It sucks for the cord cutters.

Sucks for me as I can no longer get FOX OTA. I get all other networks and have no desire for "premium" content. I won't be getting cable just for FOX.

Heat
05-02-12, 09:05 PM
I think he's talking about Roku access. If you have Comcast, you can't use HBO GO on the Roku.
This.

Hokeyboy
05-02-12, 09:47 PM
Ah. Roger that.

chuckd21
05-03-12, 01:23 PM
I don't have cable right now. I use Hulu (the free version) to watch The Office and Modern Family each week. If they end up requiring a cable subscription, I will simply download the episodes illegally.

I have no need for cable.

It sounds like you do have a need for cable.

chuckd21
05-03-12, 01:24 PM
If this happens I'd probably use Hulu more. I never thought Hulu+ was worth it for 8 bucks a month.

I'm sure it'll still be $8 when they implement authentication.

b2net
07-10-12, 09:16 AM
Get it now before you need a subscription..

Hulu Plus now has a 2-Month free trial...

https://secure.hulu.com/plus/xbox2

Heat
07-16-12, 10:20 PM
Thanks for the link, I just signed up for two free months.

I am not convinced that it is worth $8 per month, but I'll give it a workout over the next two months. Besides, it's now or never since it looks like the authentication will be coming - I am assuming that they will grandfather in any existing customers.

dtcarson
07-16-12, 10:44 PM
Dang. I got one free month. Oh well.
I've found 8 bucks worth of value in Hulu Plus so far. Actually, more so than Netflix. Everything I have thought about adding to my NF queue in the past couple weeks, hasn't been on IW. And not even big, recent titles.
It will not be worth it if I have to have cable as well.

joeblow69
07-17-12, 07:12 PM
Get it now before you need a subscription..

Hulu Plus now has a 2-Month free trial...

https://secure.hulu.com/plus/xbox2
Just signed up ... do you know if I can cancel right away so it doesn't auto renew, but still get to use it for 2 months?

DaveCole
07-18-12, 06:16 AM
If you cancel during the trial it cancels immediately.

Alan Smithee
07-19-12, 02:55 PM
Broke down and got the 2-month trial since I never tried it out on my new Sharp TV. They STILL have the stupid network logos onscreen during most shows- totally unacceptable. I'll check out all the Criterion films I can before the trial runs out (odd that those are on Hulu given the audience for the rest of the crap they have) but have my calendar marked to dump it before they start charging. Still have to sit through all that "The following is brought to you with limited commercial interruption..." crap too, but not on the Criterion stuff.

Heat
07-20-12, 10:16 PM
I didn't realize that they carried Criterion films - I'll have to take a look at what they have.

I've just been working my way through Season 3 of Glee.

What films have you seen on Hulu, and how were they?

Heat
09-12-12, 12:12 AM
Well, I got through Episode 17 (out of 22) of Glee - then Hulu dropped it. Thanks Hulu.

As for the Criterion movies, they buffer every five or ten seconds for me - unwatchable. I'll be dropping Hulu in the next day or two (a couple of days before the end of my 2-month free trial). Netflix is much better in my opinion.

DJariya
09-12-12, 02:40 AM
Well, I got through Episode 17 (out of 22) of Glee - then Hulu dropped it. Thanks Hulu.

As for the Criterion movies, they buffer every five or ten seconds for me - unwatchable. I'll be dropping Hulu in the next day or two (a couple of days before the end of my 2-month free trial). Netflix is much better in my opinion.

I'm looking at Hulu Plus right now (12:39am PT) and Glee season 3 is still there.

The new season of Glee starts on Thursday. Hulu Plus usually only keeps 1 season up for most current shows. As soon as the new season begins airing, the previous one will get deleted. I fully expect season 3 to get deleted no later than Friday, especially since it's also on DVD/BD too.

Dan
09-14-12, 02:06 PM
My 2-month trial ends in a week. I think I'm going to keep it for a few more months at least.

I logged into my account yesterday, and I was given the prompt to link my subscription to my cable provider. They said it only applied to FOX shows, though. If you link your account, you get new FOX shows the day after they air. Otherwise, you have to wait 8 days. Since I can't link my cable provider (I'm in Canada, using a 3rd party to access Hulu anyway), I'm stuck with the latter option. I can't say it bothers me, though. My wife will probably complain...