Thursday, March 04, 2010

Hulu's Downward Spiral Continues -- No Content, No King

I have written several times previously about the early promise of online video site Hulu -- and its slow demise and its inevitable loss of relevance at the hand of traditional media economics.

Two more body-blows just hit the company to accelerate this death march -- both by media heavy-weight Viacom. Two of Hulu's most popular shows -- Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" & "The Colbert Report" have now been pulled. Yanked. Rendered MIA by the media conglomerate. Why share ad revenues and syndicate those hit shows -- with massively loyal audiences -- when you can monetize them yourself (which is what Viacom hopes to do by featuring them on its own websites only)?

Viacom's reasoning is understandable, of course. It is traditional -- conventional. And, that's the problem. While it may seem logical to fully control distribution and attempted monetization, that view is extremely short-sighted. While no one yet has cracked the monetization nut for television content distributed over the Internet, certainly the answer is NOT limiting viewership. Is it?

Especially with Jon Stewart who is consistently brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! My recommendation to Viacom -- ask him for his ideas to monetize in this New World Order. Once he wipes off that initial and endearing smirk off his face, he likely will have some really good ideas ...