No Surprise Time Warner CEO Supports Hulu Content Lockdown
Currently, viewers are required only to register for an online account to view films, television series' and documentaries on their PCs, laptops and tablets.
The company is now pondering a change from their current, 'free content for all', business model to a new, 'authentication' model. This means that customers would have to log in with their satellite or cable TV account number.
A move toward authentication would mean that viewers could no longer stream films such as 'Robinson Crusoe', which stars former James Bond actor Piers Brosnan, free of charge on their computers. They could no longer access Helen Mirren's touching performance in 'The Queen, ' the story of one of the saddest public tragedies in recent times, the sudden death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Provident Equity Partners recently sold 10 per cent of their share in the company. There are rumors that this sale may be what catalyzed the potential move toward authentication. These rumors are as yet unconfirmed.
It is no surprise that the CEO of Time Warner, Jeff Bukes, has spoken in favor of Hulu's potential content lockdown. Cable companies stand to benefit from providing their content. Hosting this new material would make their subscriptions more appealing to the consumer.
Authentication will take years to fully implement. When it does, Hulu and other live streaming companies could see their audience diminish. They currently earn their income from advertising. The company recently reported USD 420 million in ad revenue. Charges for advertising go hand in hand with audience share. As their audience shrinks, so will the amount they will be able to collect from their advertisers. Cable companies will therefore also be in a position to benefit from this lucrative income stream.