An unexpected story from Paid content about Hulu co-producing the fourth series of The Thick of It with the BBC.
“We’re really excited to give U.S. audiences a chance to catch up with all previous episodes, and as series co-producers for season four, we are proud to make full seasons of this distinctive and smart show available exclusively to Hulu viewers,” said Hulu Senior VP of Content Andy Forssell, in a statement.
With this deal, Netflix involved in the production of Arrested Development and Amazon Studios commissioning content specifically for their video services (and maybe Lovefilm?), the content pipeline futures are looking rosy for the biggest video on demand players.
You all know what an upfront is right? I know we don’t have them in the UK, so indulge me for a second. It’s when the entire US network television industry decamps to New York, in a bid to reveal their fall schedules while at the same time making pretty eyes at the advertising industry.
The hope is that Unilever and General Motors will be so enthralled by the trailer for the latest procedural “with a twist” that they will spend big ad dollars that coming Autumn. (Handy fact, the US TV season starts in September, as that was the time that the US auto industry wanted to launch new car models.)
Anyway, WSJ report that Google and Hulu are planning a similar upfront for online video.
At a time when online video is becoming a bigger part of the entertainment landscape, the companies hope to get a piece of the $9 billion taken in by traditional television networks during the upfront period, the newspaper said.
Are we moving to a consistent schedule of ad-supported online long form video?
five started their download service last week, with a tried and trusted program. They are now selling the worlds biggest TV franchise, Crime Scene Investigation, after striking a deal with Alliance Atlantis, the shows distributor.
Episodes that have been on air are priced at £1.49, and there is also an option to buy an episode a week before it is due to air on five, for £2.49. I haven’t taken the plunge to check out the quality, but it would have to be pretty good to beat the stuff on itunes. Oh yes, and there is a catch. Each episode can only be viewed for 14 days, before it expires and can’t be played anymore. That will just never catch on. Its not buying at all, its renting.
I would love to see how many people take up five on this most generous offer. An illegal High definition download is only a click away a few hours after transmission in the US, a 640x480 version is available for roughly 93p about a day after transmission from Apple… I think five must try harder.