Hulu: Why we're blocking PS3 streaming

Hulu speaks out over PS3 block
Hulu speaks out over PS3 block

Hulu has broken its silence on why its blocking its video on demand service on the PS3, hinting that it's being slightly forced into the situation by content providers.

Although the service is only available in the US at the moment, a UK launch is expected in the coming months and the PS3 was set to be a popular platform.

However, Hulu has responded in an email to the block, stating that content providers were keen to protect the current system of film and TV release.

"For decades, the TV/movie industry has built its business model on a windowing strategy. Content rights are granted for limited time periods across specific distribution channels.

"For example, a movie starts in theaters, then moves to pay-per-view and DVD, then to pay-cable channels, later to broadcast, and so on down the line. Similarly, TV shows are available on TV first, then in repeats, then to DVD and possibly syndication, etc.

"Distribution availability across platforms — theaters vs TV vs recorded media like DVDs vs online streaming vs mobile phones — was always implicitly or explicitly controlled in that world.

"But a few factors have made the barriers between those platforms more permeable: the rise of the web, increased broadband availability, the ease of digitizing video, and the increase in the computing power of devices like gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and mobile phones.

"However, in the near-term, the windowing strategy is still dominant in the business. Billions of dollars flow in across these different windows, and entire companies are organized around them. Nothing productive comes from flouting that reality (except to law firms who work on the occasional lawsuit)."

Content is king

So there you have it. Hulu appears to have caved into the powers-that-be in Hollywood, and content will stay the same boring way it always has, meandering from cinema to DVD to TV to wherever.

Or will it? Hulu has clearly factored the current situation into its battle strategy, hinting this is nothing more than a hiccup and long term platforms like consoles and others, which will become progressively closer to a central home media hub, will reign:

"We do, however, expect these windows to converge over time. There's no way around that, and we're working hard with all of our partners to guide and participate in this important transition in the business.

"Everything we do is with an eye toward achieving our long-term goal of maximizing the content you can access as conveniently as possible in a way that "works" for the content owner. In the short-term that may require us to make some tough decisions, but we only do so when we believe it improves our long-term prospects to build a more enduring, legal solution to that same problem."

Via Gizmodo

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.