Hulu Agonistes

About the only immediately leveragable asset Hulu has apart from content rights is its embedded presence on a large number of connected devices, giving it a solid addressable base on which to build a distribution business.

Today in Connected Consumer

Andrew Wallenstein of Variety set tongues wagging in OTT video land with his story posted Sunday night based on an internal memo leaked from Hulu concerning the fate of the five-year old web TV service and its CEO, Jason Kilar. The top bullet point in the memo, according to Variety is: Outline transition plan for new CEO. Discuss potential candidates and process. It’s not clear from the rest of the memo whether that’s a done deal or not. In fact, Variety cites sources saying no decisions have been reached, either by Kilar or by Hulu’s principal owners, Disney and News Corp. Whether Kilar stays or not, however, big changes could be in the works for Hulu, including the loss of exclusivity on current-season content from ABC and Fox, and the loss of super-distribution rights that allowed Hulu to sub-license ABC and Fox content to third-party distributors like Yahoo and AOL. GigaOM’s Janko Roettgers wonders how news-worthy the memo really is, however, noting cheekily, “Big surprise: Hulu’s owners can’t agree on its future.”

Today in Connected Consumer

Apparently, Google feels that stumbling around in the mobile space isn’t enough of a stretch, so it has decided to go where others, including Microsoft, have failed before: bringing the full web experience to the TV set. That puts it on a collision course with the likes of Yahoo, Rovi, DivX and Wal-mart/Vudu, which are taking an Apple-like app store approach to Internet TVs. For programmers and cable operators, however, the big question will be: How will Google’s advertising system work on Google TV?

Today in Connected Consumer

Comcast rolled out its TV Everywhere service nationwide this morning, which it insists on calling Fancast Xfinity TV for reasons no one can explain. Worse than the awful name, though, were the early reviews of the service itself.  About the best anyone had to say, in this case All Things D media blogger Peter Kafka, was that the quality is OK so long as you don’t try to  fast forward. According to former GigaOm scribe Chris Albrecht, the navigation is “cumbersome,” the library is “lacking” and the video quality “sucks.” Dan Rayburn, producer of the Streaming Media conferences and an expert on the technology was equally brutal, faulting the service for pixelated video, poor frame rates and endless buffering. Perhaps Comcast was rushing things a bit?