Hulu is the best video site on the internet. There's a price though, for being able to watch 30 Rock whenever we want. And clearly, it's going to get steeper.
Hulu's corporate masters have reared their dragon heads from time to time in the past, like when it nuked Boxee and PS3 access, so you couldn't watch Hulu on your actual TV, and made it even harder to watch Hulu outside of the US.
Now, Hulu's blocking startup video discovery sites like Rippol, Yidio and Clicker from embedding its videos. Likely, again, because Hulu's content providers aren't too happy about somebody throwing all of that content into a single place that's not Hulu, even though theoretically, embedding is harmless—the video goods aren't being stolen, and Hulu still makes money off of the ads in the stream. I mean, we're talking about embedding here. This is about control.
And, given that Rupert Murdoch is publicly entertaining the idea of de-listing all of News Corp.'s content from Google (with Microsoft offering its own cash incentive to do so), a Hulu you have to pay for, or at least, is even more tightly controlled is more feasible than we'd like to think. (Hulu is a joint venture between Murdoch's News Corp. (which owns Fox), NBC Universal, and Disney (which owns ABC).
Ads, those I can deal with. Alec Baldwin's genius isn't free. Arbitrary restrictions that make it harder to watch what I want to—that, not so much. I'd rather watch nothing at all. I'm pretty lazy, after all. I can't even muster the energy to figure out when a TV show actually airs. (When does 30 Rock or Dexter run? I don't know.)
The way Hulu's going, it looks like I'm going to have a lot more time to play Modern Warfare 2. You know, TV dudes, the biggest entertainment event in history. The kind of thing that's pulling people away from their TVs, ripping their eyeballs away from the ads you sell to survive.
The sooner we quit Hulu, the less painful it'll be in the long run. [GigaOm]