I saw a post recently asking if I would pay for Hulu to watch it on my TV.
Surprising, this sturred some level of emotion in me. First off, I wouldn't pay for a dime for Hulu considering there are adverts in the streams. If they removed the adverts, I still wouldn't pay because the content is unreliable and the HD delivery method is clumsy - at best. It requires faster then needed hardware because of a poor software design choices - using a Flash based video player may reach to most of your audience, but so would just using an embedded video. The later can take advantage of the latest optimized codecs - which allows for any modern video firmware set to do the bulk load of the work instead of the CPU, allowing for a slower cheaper CPU. Hulu is handy for archived video, but not live streams - it just can't scale up against people wanting to watch some sporting event or historic moment.
This whole thing got me thinking as to why Hulu even exists. It's really just out of conveniance - it's almost your one stop shop for catching up on any TV show you're interested in. You don't have to know if the the show is produced by Fox, NBC, or ABC, you just go to it and it'll have it. It seems reasonable, but I could just go to Google, and search for my TV show of interest. So perhaps that isn't the business void it's trying to fill. To me it just doesn't add up.
Totally off topic, but...
It amazes me that with the minimal infrastructure overhead that DishNetwork and DirectTV have compared to cable ops, that they haven't annihilated them in pricing them out of business. Granted they have a /HUGE/ capital investment of putting a satellite in the air, but once that is done, everything else in comparison is cheap. Compare that to the infrastructure upkeep cost of all the cable wiring associated with telcos and cable ops across a metro area.
It equally amazes me that in more recent time, that cable ops and local telcos haven't figured out they they have the infrastructure (copper wise) to provide true on demand and world wide streaming of live TV (assuming that all their routing equipment supported igmpv3.)
Im not sure if Verizon is continuing with fios (fiber to the curb) which makes sense from the perspective of new home construction, but IMHO too costly for existing neighborhood infrastructure - and in either case its much easier to patch dug-up/fallen copper then fiber.
ATT U-verse still has that risk, but with fiber to the hub, its somewhat de-risked the last mile.
I believe this will be a come-back opportunity for land line telco's, considering how much business they have lost over the years to the cellular industry (although for some of them, like AT&T and Verizon, the land line company is also the cell company - albeit a different service product line.)
Flash back over ten years ago. I was one of the few in college who had wasted my money for a cell phone - it was a pay as you go and I used it rarely - especially considering how lame the CDMA coverage was for the time. I've since moved on to other cell carriers (thanks to the introduction of LNP) and have been much happier with each cell carrier I move to, moved to, and moved again to. The introduction of LNP has had a double side effect - it has forced carriers to be more attentive to existing customers, since they can take there phone number with them to another carrier - and has forced all carriers to be more competitive. Now my neice and neaphew have cell phones - when they get an appartment, why would they get a land line? It's one more number to pass out, it may have another voicemail box to keep track of...
Now look at FaceTime - which just uses the same ports (and arguably protocols) as SIP and STUN, this is the beginning of cell phones running into an analogous funk as land line carriers with the adoption of DSL over Voice service (instead of in conjunction & bundled with them.)
Granted that FaceTime is a closed network (you must have an ios device) but so is skype, etc. the point is that this is the next tipping point.