I have an MBA, but it’s not in Marketing

I specialized in Management so forgive me if I don’t understand how TV can be profitable when you broadcast it over the airwaves, but not profitable when you show it on someone’s computer.

Apparently, Hulu is going to start charging for content at exactly the time when I stop using it. It’s a stunning coincidence that neither of those dates have been nailed down, and yet, they’re exactly the same!

“I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content. I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value,” News Corp. Deputy Chairman Chase Carey said. “Hulu concurs with that, it needs to evolve to have a meaningful subscription model as part of its business.”

I’m sorry, Mr. Carey, but what is the current broadcast model referred to as if it’s not a “free model”? As far as I know, I haven’t paid for TV since I moved out of my parents house nearly 12 years ago. And the only reason my parents paid for TV was because they moved to a place where you can’t really get reception. Yet, somehow, TV shows have continued to air free of charge to me for those 12 years.

Here’s what I see as the impending trade off: Charge people for content vs. Show more commercials. I know from experience that during a broadcast TV show, there are several ads per commercial break, as opposed to the single ad that is shown during a break on Hulu. Is the problem that there aren’t enough advertisers who are willing to buy ads during a show on Hulu to be able to show three ads per commercial break? If that’s the case then Hulu is just doing a suck ass job of marketing to those advertisers.

Consider that the networks have absolutely ZERO knowledge of what I watch on broadcast TV. Now consider that the networks know that I am subscribed to: 30 Rock, Castle, Chuck, Dollhouse, FlashForward, Fringe, Glee, The Office, and V (which hasn’t even started yet). If I were the one running Hulu, I’d be telling advertisers that if you have a tech gadget, or some other super-geeky thing to advertiser, guess what? I can show your ad to someone who is subscribed to Chuck, Dollhouse, FlashForward, Fringe, and V. Is that not compelling? Seems pretty G-damn compelling to me. But then, my MBA is in Management.



Posted on October 25, 2009, in Diatribes, The New Web and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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