I hate platform wars

Hulu Plus on Roku.I hate them. Hate them hate them hate them. News broke this week that Hulu would be launching on Roku streaming devices, as well as TiVo premiere. It’s only Hulu Plus, for now, but the whole world is crying out against AppleTV as a result.

I think they’re right, too. AppleTV doesn’t have nearly enough options to merit spending money on. It’s a gamble right now, and unless you’re confident in your cracking skills and have a lot of your own video to stream, AppleTV just doesn’t make sense. EXCEPT…

That it’s the best looking software out there and the growth potential is huge. Unfortunately, Apple could pull together the support for launch, mostly because networks didn’t want to go down to $.99 rentals (but most networks show for free online – seriously, just give me free streaming already). Apple launched, thinking success would change some opinions, but with the market the way it is, there might not be massive support behind Apple, which means we get to watch the streaming marketplace splinter, just like Blu-ray/HD-DVD, and hope that whoever we picked wins out in the end. I realize this is kinda the point of capitalism, but I want to make my choice based on how good the product is, not who managed to buddy up with the owner of Hulu over the weekend.

Netflix sneaks past Hulu

Hulu vs Netflix.

Netflix and Hulu started dueling for streaming dominance some time ago, and for the most part Hulu has been winning that fight. It looks like Netflix may have taken a leg up, though, and I’m hoping it stays that way.

According to comScore, Netflix barely edged past Hulu in unique visitors this past month. I’ve really enjoyed Netflix streaming service, but the company needs to get up to current seasons if it wants to give Hulu a serious run for it. One of my favorite shows, Party Down (which none of you were watching, which is why it got the ax – shame on you), had current season streaming from Netflix and I watched it every week. It’s a fantastic alternative to a cable subscription, which tends to just fill my living room with a lot of noise.

Hulu’s trying to keep the top spot with Hulu+, granting access to full current seasons and some legacy episodes for a fee. The company’s ad structure could really hold it back, especially when competing with the Netflix platform.