Hulu: The Missed Opportunity to Crush Netflix and Transform the Cable Model
For example, in social media, there's no question: Twitter (Proposed Ticker: TWIT) and Facebook (FB) should merge. But ego and hipster/engineering-geek (strange mix, I know) posturing keeps that from even making the radar.
In the new media vs. old guard media's sort-of-on, sort-of-off relationship, you hear loads of It will never happen because ...
Believe me, I understand this. I can get with the walled garden approach. Ultimately, I even advocate Time Warner's (TWX) approach to disseminating its content over Disney's (DIS) , at least insofar as the latter's recent deal with Netflix (NFLX) is concerned.
But, why even give Netflix the time of day to begin with? I'll never understand that. If I own the key content, I do one of two things:
One, I continue along with the disparate offerings. HBO GO here and WatchESPN there. You know -- the idea of TV Everywhere where content providers create their own Web platforms and distribute the content to pay-TV subscribers and/or viewers who subscribe to the standalone digital service. The former is, at the moment, much more common.
Two, I monitor the heck out of consumer behavior and, if I give anything up to a "third party," I give it up to Hulu. Forget Netflix. Even forget Amazon.com (AMZN) .
Near term you will not collect the type of icing-on-the-cake revenue Disney just extracted from Netflix or CBS (CBS) brags about generating via licensing deals on its quarterly conference calls, but long term, you're building a healthier, less messy industry.
CBS executives sound smart today by picking up money that's right in front of them, but it's short-sighted and dangerous. They're hurting their company. They're hurting Netflix. And they're hurting the business. It's akin to taking your turn with the loose high school cheerleader. Immediate payoff, but nobody wins in the end.