It’s time to start getting paid for broadcast content online.
Greg Sandoval (writer of the original article that intrigued me) has an interview today with Eric Garland, who is an expert in online piracy. According to him:
What you have is a very effective antipiracy tool in Hulu, and I’m specifically drawing on the numbers and not just citing anecdotal evidence. People really do prefer the Hulu experience. So you actually have cannibalization, for once, of a pirate market by a legitimate market. You have a legitimate market stealing share and audience away from a pirate market. Put that behind a subscription wall and they’ll just go back.
Not only does the paywall sound shortsighted and poorly thought out, but charging for content flies in the face of what these companies have done for decades. It’s only recently that they’ve been able to make significant amounts of money on home video sales. For most of their history, they’ve made their money selling advertising on free content – the model that Hulu follows today.