The owners of Hulu announced today that they are no longer for sale, after shopping themselves around since June. Maybe with Netflix’s sudden unsettled condition, it occurred to them that maybe they could make a few more dollars on their venture.
I am not a huge user of Hulu, but my teenage daughter is. She watches all her favorite cable and network shows there when she misses them on regular broadcast, or when someone accidentally erases something she’s saved from the DVR. Unlike others in the geek-o-sphere, we are not ready to cut the cord on our satellite yet. But having choices like Hulu means that we have some flexibility in how we watch some of our favorites.
I went and tooled around on Hulu tonight for a bit, to see what was there to watch. The American Experience series from PBS is available for free viewing, as is one of my guilty pleasures, Storage Wars from A&E. Much of what I found was cable-based, as most network shows end up on the networks’ own websites. Hulu is good for getting links directly out to shows that they don’t carry directly.
Most shows won’t play unless your ad-blockers are turned off, and they all include ads. Most ads are only a minute or less, and happen only a couple times during the episode you may be watching. That’s what you get for free. If you want to pay $8 a month, you get access to more shows, many of them current or newest releases including movies, plus the ability to watch them on any device from a smart phone to a tablet to an Internet-enabled television or set-top box.
From what I can tell, if you’re looking for things that have appeared on television, Hulu is where you want to go for content. If you’re looking for new releases, they are pretty much a black hole of nothing. But still, for those that don’t want to pay Netflix’s inflated prices for content, Hulu may be a reasonable alternative.
I intend to spend a little more time poking around seeing what is there.