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Hulu What Now?

So, I know the thing on everyone’s mind is the whole Twitter Replies scandal, but really, that’s already been overdone, and it’ll be over and gone in a day anyway. But it does sort of relate to to this post in the whole K.I.S.S. #FAIL way… you see…

Not too long ago, I was watching the “Web Exclusives” (aka Deleted and Behind-The Scenes) of The Office on Hulu and I see this:

Availability Notes:
The last 14 episodes of Season 5 are available until August 8, 2009. At that time, Season 5 episodes will revert to a ‘five rolling’ schedule with five episodes available at a given time and a newer episode added weekly as an older one expires.

I’m sorry… whosinawhatnow? That Don’t Make No Sense.

buddha banana

As opposed to the Twitter reply scheme, which I actually understood the first time I read it and – while kind of dumb – is actually comprehensible…

Maybe it’s just the date thing that’s throwing me off. I’m assuming that new episodes don’t start until some time in September, and so the August 8th date seems sort of arbitrary. Why not August 29th, 1997 at 2:14 am?

Here I thought Hulu was going to neatly take care of the fact that I don’t have cable or a satellite dish or AT&T’s Uverse (whatever that is). But instead of being my online TiVo, it appears they’re going to be all Big Media about it and force me to watch on their schedule (at least somewhat). Maybe if, instead of “limited commercials” they went to 2 commercials per break… or 3, or even 4, like on broadcast TV? Would the users revolt? Sure… but would they get used to it if they didn’t have any other choice? I know I would.

Dollhouse: Unlucky 13

dollhouse_cast

So, I’m catching up on Dollhouse tonight (thankfully/mercifully, someone had the bright idea to extend the expiration dates so I could actually keep up), and I notice this:

Availability Notes: The 13th Episode of Dollhouse will not be available for online streaming.

Back To The Stone Age

I can almost guarantee you that the person who decided not to have the season finale available on Hulu is not the same person who decided to extend the deadlines… because one was a good decision and the other, a terrible one.

Guess what FOX (or Hulu, but I’m guessing it was FOX that made the decision)? My wife and I are chaperoning her school’s prom on Friday night. So, I won’t be able to watch your Dollhouse season finale… which means I have about 3 options…

  1. Never get to see it – this is the extreme option, and is clearly superseded by the next two
  2. I can download it illegally
  3. I can wait until the DVDs are on Netflix and get the last one in order to watch a single freaking episode

I wonder if any of those 3 options is going to make FOX more money than they’d get by putting it on Hulu…

A fourth option would just be to follow Eliza Dushku’s Twitter. It doesn’t really actually accomplish viewing of the episode, but it supports an actress that I like…

eliza-dushku-94

Big and Small Changes at Hulu

The Big Story is obviously that Disney has bought into Hulu meaning that by the time I get around to watching this season of LOST, it may be on Hulu! (ABC’s streaming video player is very good, but I am really hoping to one day have all the TV shows I want to watch on one queue)

But a smaller change that I’d like to mention just to point out how awesome Hulu is: You now have to click a link that says “View Description” to see the description of the episode. Usually when it comes to UI, extra clicks are something you want to avoid, but with this change, the plot of the episode isn’t given away, which, for most shows, I believe, makes for a better end user experience. And it’s those little details that really tell me that Hulu is being led in the right direction.

The Hulu Takeover

hulu_logo According to TechCrunch, Hulu gained 10 million viewers in Feburary, which is an impressive number, but if you look at their chart, what I think is more impressive is the 64.5 minutes per viewer which is second in the top 10 behind only Google Sites (aka YouTube) which had 134 minutes, and 3.6 times more than the next highest average minutes per viewer in the top 10.

Maybe it’s because Hulu rocks the house. I wish CBS and ABC would take note. I would give them more advertising revenue that they are otherwise losing because I’d be all over the past 4 seasons of How I Met Your Mother and the last few episodes of LOST that I haven’t been able to watch yet (and I might even watch Wipeout if I could add it to my Hulu queue).

Advertising Options on Hulu

So I went to catch up on some TVonTheInternet earlier this week and was offered the option of either watching a long ad and then the show straight through with no ads, or to watch with shorter ads interspersed as usual.

Of course I went with the long ad at the beginning. I think I saved myself 30 seconds that way, and it worked just as advertised. Pun intended. If that’s even a pun.