Posted by: crudbasher | June 30, 2010

Ramifications of Hulu Plus

It’s fascinating to watch the morphing of the content provider’s business models.  Here is the evolution so far:

  1. 50s, 60s, 70s TV is created and broadcast for free supported by commercials.
  2. 80s TV is sold on VCR tapes.
  3. 90s 2000s TV is sold on DVDs.
  4. 2000sTV is offered on demand for a price per view.
  5. late 2000s TV is sold on Blueray.
  6. late 2000s TV is captured and redistributed for free on P2P networks (illegally)
  7. late 2000s TV is recorded on DVRs and watched any time.
  8. late 2000s TV is sold by show on iTunes and Amazon.
  9. very late 2000s Netflix puts many shows online on demand for unlimited consumption for $9 a month.

Now what is happening is we are finally breaking away from the selling individual pieces of content model.  Now it’s going to the buffet model. Content is provided as a service.  In essence you aren’t paying for the individual works anymore, you are paying for access to the library.  There are several music services doing the same thing.  You don’t actually download the songs anymore and have them, you just subscribe to the service and get all the songs.

Content as a service.  You can’t charge for a product that can be infinitely reproduced.  It’s basic economics.  Value is derived from scarcity.  The only thing you can charge for is time.  Being able to watch whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want.  You are not paying for content, you are paying for convenience.  This business model can work, but the margins will be a lot lower than what the content producers are used to.

For a teacher imagine being hooked up to these services.  When somebody in class brings up a question about a particular piece of content you can go get it!  Awesome!

On a personal note, I was the kid in the classroom who ran the film projector in Middle School. 🙂

  • Online content model is changing into a service.

    tags: technology, hulu

    • For $10 a month, you’ll be able to stream in HD entire current seasons of shows such as Glee, Modern Family, The Office and 30 Rock as well as the entire back library of many other shows, such as Arrested Development, The X-Files and Heroes.
    • One downside? Even though you’re paying $10/month, you’ll still need to sit through ads, which is pretty weak.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by, Michael Josefowicz. Michael Josefowicz said: @CrudBasher Nice. < My fav: [ TV ]" is going to the buffet model.:" Implies the a buffet model for edu. #edchat […]

  2. Wow. I love this post. I can’t wait to see how media as content modules can be put piecemeal into our lives as needed. Shouldn’t education content be the same? Think about it. Portable modules of information that can be switched from discipline to discipline and used on an individualized basis. A customizable happy meal of learning for each kid!

    • Yeah it’s going to change schools when you have instant access to lots and lots of content! I remember when I went to teach a lecture and actually had a VCR tape to play!

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