My take on the Boxee/Hulu SituationFebruary 19th, 2009
Well, if you haven’t noticed or heard yet, Hulu streaming has been disabled in Boxee.
I’m not going to go over WHY it happened, as it’s pretty well explained by the Boxee and Hulu teams here:
What I will do is offer my opinion on it all… after all, that is the point of a blog, isn’t it?
Both Hulu and Boxee are amazing products. Hulu brings together MANY different content providers in to one place and offers great streaming services for all this content in one nice, clean, easy to use site. Boxee is a cutting edge Media Center style application that transforms almost any computer in to a very sleek meda-centric device. While Boxee [on Windows] is still VERY alpha (read: buggy as hell, crashes constantly), there was one thing I found it actually did really well, which was it’s Hulu integration. You could search and browse all of Hulu’s shows directly from inside Boxee.
It was a very cool feature, and the main reason I didn’t uninstall Boxee after it’s 10th time crashing while trying to scan my media from my network.
But as of today, that feature is disabled. The decision was not up to Boxee or Hulu, but rather the content providers (NBC, Fox, etc…)
The ONLY thing they will accomplish by doing this is to drive people away from the Hulu service. There will be NO positive effect from disabling a service once offered, especially this type of service.
If you take a moment to think about who used it… who are they cutting off?
Nerds know about, use, and put up with Boxee and it’s quirkiness because we know it has GREAT potential.
So bascially the content providers have done 1 thing here, which is to piss off several thousand nerds.
Now I ask of these content providers, just what exactly do you think these people are going to do now?
1) Stop watching your content
2) Obtain your content through other means, such as torrents, which are always higher quality, and always commercial free.
I’d be willing to bet you have just driven away thousands of people who viewed content on Hulu through Boxee (over 100,000 Hulu streams were watched through Boxee last week alone), and watched your advertisements, to torrents. Torrents where they will never see your advertisements again.
I will never understand the choices made by media outlets. They constantly seem to be making the exact opposite decisions that they should. They weren’t loosing anything through Boxee as you still saw their ads. They should be embracing new cutting edge technologies, not disabling them, and pissing off a lot of people.
Just mind blowing.