In what is shaping up as a defining battle of new business model versus old, Hulu has decided to block its RSS feed if the reader is Boxee. I say a defining battle because Hulu, acting as a proxy for some of the giants of the old, television centered, media business model, is trying to dictate the where, what, and how of how the customer consumes their product. But clearly, the customer wants to decide for him/herself the where, when, and how of media consumption.
I don’t really blame Hulu because they’re just trying to meet the demands of their content providers (and save cable subscriptions), even though those demands are ultimately at odds with what the customer wants. The recent popularity of Boxee seems to indicate that a lot of people want to be able to easily what internet video on their TVs as well as computers. Ultimately, that’s something that the market is going to have to get used to and learn to profit from. Will the profits be as big as in the past? Who knows? It’s too early to tell, but I think that fighting the change will only alienate viewers and push them to pirated media sources. The successful business knows that the customer is always right.