Sunday, July 19, 2015

TV: The continued failure that is Hulu

Back in April, we offered "TV: The rise of Netflix, the fall of Hulu" and a number of e-mails have come in, mostly last week, objecting to our take on the topic.

Reader Bill R. tells us we were flat out wrong, in fact.



We actually have considered that as a TV topic because there's so damn little to cover.

Jim wants us to go over to the chat & chews (public affairs programming) but we're not ready to suffer like that just yet.

We've basically got one more Netflix program we can review and that's it.

So a few weeks back, we did consider a look back at things we were wrong on.

Thing was, we couldn't find it.

Because these are opinions.

But with Bill R. and others insisting poor Hulu (or, rather, Hulu Plus) got a bum rap from us, we'll revisit.

As even Hulu has to now admit, no one watched their 'original' series Deadbeat.  It's currently the 126th most streamed program on Hulu.


And the only place to watch it is?


It's not a hit.

It's not even a modest success.

It is a flat out failure.

But, some of you have insisted, Hulu, since we wrote last April, has acquired The Mindy Project.

That was a smart move.

Currently, it's their 29th most streamed show and, when new episodes air, The Mindy Project regularly not only tops as the most streamed, it brings in additional streamers.

But when, pray tell, does Hulu plan to have new episodes of the series up and streaming?

Or more to the point, in the time since we wrote the April piece,  Netflix has offered full seasons of new programs Daredevil, Grace & Frankie, Sense8, a weekly installment of Between and another season of Orange Is The New Black.

What has Hulu offered?

That it's acquired The Mindy Project.

Hasn't aired anything.

Just flapped its gums.

But the new deal with Showtime, some insist, is ground breaking.

For those who missed it, $8.99 a month will get you streaming rights to Showtime if you're already a Hulu Plus subscriber.

It's also the same deal Showtime's offering to Playstation users, just FYI.

And two dollars more lets Apple users and Roku streamers get it as well.

So, no, it's not an exclusive deal with Hulu.

In terms of original programming, Showtimes has still not caught up with HBO (or, some would argue, even Starz) so it's no big deal there.  What it would do would allow you to see more films.  That would put it ahead of Netflix.

However, you're paying twice the amount of money to have access to Showtime (your Hulu subscription plus $8.99 for Showtime).

And there's more said to be coming.

The word being whispered is that ,come this fall, Hulu will happily charge you even more money for your monthly subscription to Hulu Plus! when they offer you an 'ad free' experience at an extra cost.

They're good at tacking on fees, they're just not very good at creating original programming.

If you're not getting how bad things are, possibly you missed their latest ad campaign?

They're encouraging you to stream their 'new' offerings -- the 60s TV show The Munsters, the 70s TV program Eight Is Enough, etc.

That's how they're trying to entice new comers to stream their sub-standard product.

Crackle, it should be noted, is a free service which has provided original programming -- much more than the sports trivia program.  They've had Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Chosen, Cleaners and Sequestered.

You really want to pretend Hulu Plus! -- a fee-based service -- is   really a success story?

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