By Daniel Kopf
For almost 80 years television has been the main source for entertainment. Internet Television provider Hulu.com is leading the revolution causing an influx of viewers to watch television on their computers.
Hulu.com was started in 2007 by NBC Universal, News Corp. and Providence Equity Partners. Hulu offers viewers videos from over 130 content providers including media giants FOX and NBC.
Watching online videos on the internet has boomed in the last several months culminating in a record 14.3 billion videos being watched by the U.S in December. Hulu profited from the boom as a record 24 million videos were watched on the website.
Many attribute this boom to the several advantages online videos have over television.
“Hulu allows viewers more control and offers fewer commercials,” said Media Arts Professor Keith Hamel. “It has the same advantages of a VCR and DVR. It allows users to break away from control of the medium.”
Hulu’s recent growth however does not hide its shortcomings, as it does not offer as wide of range as programming as users would like.
“I feel it could expand its content. I know it has to do with rights but the powers that be should extend the length of time a program is on the website,” said Marist College Sophomore Matthew Esposito.
Along with not offering content from CBS and ABC, Hulu does not support user generated content, a staple of online giant YouTube.
Despite Hulu’s criticisms its growing success has ignited the debate whether or not television on the internet is the future.
“Who knows what the future holds, will it replace television yes, with another form of television I don’t know,” said professor Hamel.
Online videos might be the future of television, but Professor Hamel says they’re not as similar as it might seem. “In terms of actively seeking it out Hulu is different. What you see on Hulu is a diversion. But it’s not as much of a recreation, its constantly calling you back, you are still divided but not recreationally.”