Hulu, the popular television content aggregator backed by major Hollywood companies, today launched a desktop application that can only be used on PCs. Of course, we wouldn’t expect the company to do it any other way — after all, if it ran on set-top boxes, it would dry up the lucrative money stream that flows from cable operators to Hulu’s partners and parents.
The launch of this desktop application explains why Hulu went after Boxee, the New York-based startup that developed an interesting content aggregation platform. The two companies tussled for a long time. It was believed that Hulu’s big bad backers were forcing its hand against Boxee. The launch of the desktop app shows that Hulu was being nothing but anti-competitive in an underhanded sort of way.
When All Things D’s Kara Swisher asked NBC CEO Jeff Zucker about Hulu making it difficult to watch its service on TV via software like Boxee, he said. “Right now we’re committed to Hulu being an online experience, and that’s where our vision is today, and I think that will continue.” Right! That is why Hulu released the desktop version.