Hulu Back on Boxee or, Thank You, RSS!

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Less than a month after Hulu yanked its content from Boxee, the open source media platform has reinstated the premium content service — albeit it in a not-quite-as-elegant manner. Via Boxee blog post:

we’ve decided to enable access to their favorite content using a new built-in RSS reader optimized for video. like IE, Firefox, or Google reader, the RSS reader supports Google Video, Yahoo!, YouTube and feeds from many other websites. while it’s not as attractive or robust as our previous Hulu application, it will additionally support Hulu’s public RSS feeds.

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Access to Hulu is an integral part of Boxee’s appeal, as it makes it easier for people to watch premium content on their TV set without the need for a pricey cable subscription. Hulu was pressured by its content partners to remove itself from the service, and users were not happy about the situation.

Perhaps feeling the pressure a $4 million investment brings, Boxee wants to keep its 240,000 300,000 registered users from defecting and acted quickly to get Hulu back up and running. Perhaps too quickly. Boxee warns that this release is “not for the faint of heart” as it didn’t go through much testing. A more stable update will be released March 24.

Boxee also announced it, too, is jumping into the application craze, launching its own version of an app store dubbed “App Box” that will make it easier for users to install new applications and plugins.

14 Comments

DaveZatz

DM, You and I know that. But that’s not what this is about. And my hunch has come to pass. Sometimes it sucks being right.

Dave Mathews

Dave, this is no different than Firefox, Google Reader, etc. pulling a feed. Boxee at its heart is a browser – optimized for a 10-foot remote UI.

I would bet from reading their posts that the Hulu guys “got” the extra value add that the former “deep integration” added with better social awareness of clips and programs (no more deep digging through a site) and the ultimate “Nielsen” value of who is watching what, how long they stay on board, which viewers are the alpha/leaders pushing to their friends and what is their influence and stickiness.

Boxee really is the ultimate “box” when it comes to all of the knowledge that the content owners can get out of the trends and back-end data. CBS gets it. NBC and Fox are hanging onto old methods; and we all know that if you do not innovate, you become a dinosaur. And look where their oil got us today. [Ok, that was a terrible pun. But I had a great discussion on climate yesterday so it’s TOM.]

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