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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #198 - How Chromecast's Tab Casting Convolutes Hulu's Value Prop

    I'm pleased to present the 198th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Just as Hulu was announcing this week that Hulu Plus is now Chromecast-enabled, new research from Parks Associates revealed that 50% of people already using Chromecast to watch Hulu content on TV are actually watching the free Hulu.com service. They're able to do this by using Chromecast's "tab casting" feature to stream from a tab in the Chrome browser. Their behavior undermines a key Hulu Plus value proposition (and differentiator from Hulu.com) of being able to watch Hulu content on connected TVs.

    This isn't random behavior either; the Parks research also revealed that 34% of Chromecast owners stream Hulu content to their TVs every day, with 43% watching Netflix this way.

    In today's podcast, Colin and I talk about how Chromecast is convoluting Hulu's model and more broadly how technology and consumer behaviors continue to pressure Hollywood's licensing/windowing practices. As a Hulu Plus subscriber, Colin also shares 2 other wrinkles: first, that certain Hulu Plus content is just available for "web-only" viewing and NOT for connected devices like Roku, Xbox or Chromecast, and second, that in the case of the USA Network program "Psych," there are actually more recent episodes freely available on Hulu.com than there are on Hulu Plus. I've reached out to Hulu PR for comment and will update as appropriate.

    (UPDATE: A Hulu PR representative told me that permission to stream to devices is granted by the content provider and varies by show, so it's not possible to stream all Hulu Plus content to devices. More info about the policies is here.)

    Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 41 seconds)




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