After Fox decided to make Hulu users wait eight days for the release of new episodes, the piracy levels of their shows have more than doubled since. It is likely that Fox was seeking to get more viewers to watch the original broadcasts and thus increase ad prices. TorrentFreak tracked the piracy levels of two Fox shows which revealed a drastic increase in downloads. Hell’s Kitchen downloads were up 114% while Master Chef went up a staggering 189% (season finale).
Services like Hulu and Netflix allow consumers to view programs or movies while catering to their personal schedules. When you try to get busy people who don’t care for cable or DVR to sit and watch their favorite shows at a specific time, you will most certainly lose eyeballs. And at the end of the day, isn’t it the “watch whenever you want” ideal that makes Hulu and Netflix so great?
While I do understand the necessity to increase services fees and such, I am having a hard time understanding what exactly Fox was thinking with their ban period. If everyone could watch Hell’s Kitchen during its original air time, they would find a way to do so. Inflicting the loyal Hulu user base with an eight day lag will certainly not gain you any brownie points.