Hulu announced today that it will bring live network channels to its service sometime in 2017. We didn’t get details but the Wall Street Journal says its sources say it would include Disney programming like ABC and ESPN, Fox networks and possibly NBCUniversal and more for about $40.
Whether that price point remains or not it brings up two questions.
1. Do I want to deal with yet another service offering to decide on?
2. Are we headed back to the bundle?
For years lots of folks have called for a la cart TV options letting them pick just the channels they want But now that we’re getting choices online it’s starting to look like a hassle to some.
DTNS Analyst robertmeta says, “I used to think it was what I wanted, but now I am too busy and I don’t even want to have to make the decision — I just want to throw money at the problem without lock-in.”
But here’s the tl;dr version of what I want.
1. One independent platform that aggregates my services. This one shouldn’t get anything out of picking winners or losers just an agnostic presentation of what’s available. Best bet for this is the hardware makers like Roku or Apple TV.
2. All content available from subscription and purchase. Don’t make me think about when something is coming to a service or whether I should buy it now or wait. Just put it on a service or sell it, or preferably both. If I don’t want to tie up with the service I’ll just buy or rent it.
3. Subscription management. Again probably an independent service but this could be a third-party app. Something that is able to alert me when I haven’t been using a subscription I’ve been paying for or even have a setting that lets it cancel service if I don’t use it AND subscribe to services based on what I want to watch. A calculator that tells me whether its best to subscribe buy or rent would be a good feature there too.
4. Platform agnostic services. No matter what service I use I want its product to work on whatever device I have. That means no ecosystems that limit to you to one manufacturer’s product. I’m looking at you Apple. Although Amazon seems to be leaning more that way these days too. And no “this show is unavailable on mobile.” Work out the deals. Because that kind of thing is a deal killer for me.
Granted I understand the legitimate business obstacles to making this happen. But I also understand that with the right consumer pressure and vision from content makers it’s all possible both technically and economically.
What does your ultimate TV service look like? Let us know!