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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Disney Joins Hulu: What Does It Mean?

I don't think the news this week that Disney will contribute content to Hulu is any sort of death knell for iTunes.

Today, Hulu is there for viewing content when you've got a reliable Net connection (at home or in the dorm, for instance). But iTunes is there when you want to download content and watch it later on your laptop or iPod or iPhone -- usually when you're in motion.

One thing that Apple has succeeded at -- wildly -- is getting you to create an account, and hand over your credit card info. That enables you to make impulse buys of movies, apps, music, and TV shows. Even if Hulu had a long term plan to start selling downloads one day, in addition to streaming content with ads, getting viewers to cough up payment info is no small feat.

But Disney's link-up with Hulu signifies that clearly, media companies don't want to hand over control of their customers entirely to Apple.

Here's more analysis of the news, from the Wall Street Journal.

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