Hulu, the popular video streaming service that may or may not be charging sometime soon, will suffer a major blow to their content database next week. Unable to reach a deal with major media corporation Viacom, the site will lose all of Viacom’s content, including Comedy Central offerings like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Say goodbye to the most trusted newsman in America, y’all.
Look, there’s no way to say this without being a bit vulgar, but Viacom is clearly a bunch of fuckwads. That’s probably not a revelation, since generally most gigantic media corporations are a bunch of fuckwads, but this just strikes me as a lose-lose situation. Clearly the viewers are the biggest losers here, but Viacom, which owns channels like MTV and Comedy Central and whose demographics skew pretty young, may have lost a huge chunk of their fanbase. Young people have been eschewing their TVs in favor of streaming websites for years, and taking The Daily Show off of Hulu almost seems like a slight to its youthful demographic. Where are we supposed to get our daily dose of satirical politics now?
Well–luckily–Comedy Central will still stream full episodes on their website, but if you’ve ever tried to watch anything over there, good luck, because their videoplayer is horrendous (though not as bad as MTV’s). The Times points out that despite the fact that the episodes will still be available online, “the decision immediately angered online fans who prefer Hulu. Others said they would wind up watching fewer episodes of “The Daily Show” as a result.” Ultimately, this all comes down to (of course) the question of How To Monetize Content on The Internet. Frankly, I’d be willing to pay a monthly subscription to Hulu to be able to watch unlimited Viacom shows on their media player, but it seems like–for now–that deal is off the table.