Ads Versus Content: The Pros and Cons of Hulu’s New Licensing Agreement

Ads Versus Content: The Pros and Cons of Hulu’s New Licensing Agreement

By: Dana Vouglitois, LegalArt Legal Intern

Online TV heavyweight Hulu recently negotiated a new licensing agreement which has dramatically increased its market value to potential buyers. The agreement with media conglomerate News Corp. allows Hulu to continue to stream popular Fox programs such as “Glee” and “Family Guy.”

Sounds like a good thing for Hulu users, but of course there is a catch. In order for Hulu to have continued access to its most popular shows, there must be a “significant increase” in advertisements. One of the main advantages of choosing Hulu over other sites used to be that it offered far less ads than the number present during an average half-hour of TV. Now, Hulu will have absolutely no say over the type and quantity of ads used during programming, which is bound to alienate a good percentage of viewers.

So what does Hulu have left to offer its throngs of TV addicts? The only positive feature of this new agreement—increased advertising revenue—seems to be only indirectly beneficial to its users. At the moment, many aspects of Hulu’s future are uncertain. How long will this new agreement last? When will it take effect? Who, if anyone, will become the new owner of Hulu? Stay tuned…

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