Just put my Hulu Plus account on hold after six months or so. I was going to cancel outright, but their repeated suggestions that I give myself some time to think about it exhausted me into submission. I will probably cancel anyway, simply because the service doesn’t cater specifically enough to my viewing tastes to justify keeping it–even at a measly $7.99 per month.
It’s not the expense; I certainly don’t think $7.99 is an outrageous cost to watch what I want, when I want. The problem is actually twofold: I don’t watch a lot of TV to begin with, and Hulu Plus doesn’t have what I want to see. It was nice to catch up on Community and Parks & Recreation, but once caught up, the DVR does fine for catching the new episodes I miss. It was also nice to gorge on The X-Files and Lost and Battlestar Galactica, but Netflix offers all those back series, as well as movies. (Not enough new movies, of course, but that’s a rant for another occasion.) No new-new eps of Fringe. No Justified. No full eps of Top Chef. No Primeval. Not even any Friends!
The problem is, networks have not yet accepted the inevitable. They refuse to go all in on a la carte TV viewing until they figure out a way to monetize it as lucratively as before, even though there’s just no way that’s going to happen. And I’m not going all in until I can cut the cable and be assured I can watch what I want without having to torrent tons of stuff. (I have mixed feelings on torrenting, but again, that’s for some other time.)
I’m willing to pay for comprehensive on-demand service, and I think a lot of other people are, too. You make it easy, you put it all in one place, you keep it priced reasonably, and it’ll happen. How much longer that remains an option for entertainment providers, however, is uncertain. Once whatever remaining stigma surrounding “piracy” erodes, it may be too late for them to make any money at all.