A thought about Hulu

19 Nov
2008

It stands to reason that the executives from NBC and FOX keep a very close eye on viewer behavior on Hulu.com – stuff like pageviews, unique visitors, ad click rate, attention rate, etc – I am sure that is tracked closely.

I can imagine this is also a way for them to circumvent the rather imperfect Nielson rating system, and get a much larger sampling of users.

So – it would then stand to reason that they may factor in these stats into what shows they pick up and which they drop in the future.

Now – pretty much anything online can be spammed or manipulated – captchas get broken, and why the Turing Test prize money is still unclaimed. So what is to stop a big fan of a show to stimulate users? Get a robo-network going, and have ‘users’ viewing an episode. Next month, ramp it up. Every month, increase it by a variation of 3-5%. A dedicated enough user (or even team) could make quite a dent in viewer behavior while watching a show.

Thoughts?

4 Responses to A thought about Hulu

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Andre Marcelo-Tanner

November 19th, 2008 at 1:23 am

what is hulu?

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Asim

November 20th, 2008 at 11:38 am

Whtz 2 say it is not being done already?

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Hany

November 21st, 2008 at 12:53 pm

The Nielson rating system is indeed imperfect, as you mentioned. I would much rather have an online system created. I think it’s still going to be practical, even with a little spam, it would still be heavily utilized.

One note though. If an online system would be created, wouldn’t it make much more sense for there to be ONE system and one system only?

While Hulu has a large selection of media, there are still huge chunks missing from Hulu (notably CBS/ABC programs). Wouldn’t the online system be incomplete without the addition of these two giants?

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Ahmed

November 22nd, 2008 at 10:37 am

Well it’s all relative Hany – if Show 1 has a Nielson rating of 10, and 100,000 people watch it online – and then Show 2 has a Nielson rating of 5, but 150,000 people watch it online – its possible (taking into demographics) that either Show 1 is not as popular as they think, or that Show 2 is more popular than they think.

In TV land, the demographics are a huge reason on if a show stays up or not. Eg Scrubs – it has always had mediocre ratings, but due to the demographics (one of the most homogeneous affluent block of watchers), it was able to stay on the air for many years.

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