Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
14 August 2018
Hulu Originals create preference, Netflix diminishes returns
Like many, I’ve cut my cable cord because, in part, the variety of affordable steaming options made my need for a multitude of cable channels unnecessary. Especially since I could save quite a few bucks in the process. As such, my TV habits have consisted of switching between Netflix and Hulu (my two favorite steaming options). Let me me go on the record as saying I appreciate Hulu Originals much more than Netflix’s original content.
Back as a college student, when I was just barely passing my Intro to Economics course (hey, it was freshman year), I learned of the Law of Diminishing Returns. For those unaware of the theory, it reads:
The Law of Diminishing Returns is an economic theory that describes how at a certain point, increasing labor does not yield an equally increasing amount of productivity. In other words, when the amount of input increases over time, at some point the rate of output decreases for each unit of input.
Incidentally, I feel that this concept, in a slightly embellished kind of way, applies to Netflix and, as a counterpoint, Hulu Originals.
“Hulu Originals can’t compete by emulating that model. (It doesn’t have a the budget, for one thing.) It can only compete by positioning itself against the streaming market leader.”
If you are a Netflix streamer you are aware of the constant flow of original content it offers. Nearly every other day, a new series (or three) drops alongside a handful of comedy specials and a documentary. Early on, I was kind of stoked by the options as it felt filtered and worthy of my time. Now it isn’t.
Hulu Originals owns less but richer programming
Truth is, unlike Hulu Originals, I cannot hardly make it through a single option. Sad, as this was the company that brought us House of Cards, Stranger Things and Making of a Murderer. It’s all become so blah. Back to economics: the high level of emotional returns I was once receiving has diminished greatly due to increased content production.
Compare this to Hulu Originals where the release of a TV series and/or documentary feels like an event. Moreover, these options are freaking good; for instance, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Looming Tower, National Treasure and the recent Castle Rock.
Unlike Netflix, Hulu Originals aren’t shelled out by the heaping spoonful, rather is it is released in a weekly episodic manner. (Netflix delivers entire TV series all at once.) This slow and methodic process, paired with excellent material, creates anticipation.
Netflix operates under a different model. It aims to hold you hostage so you never leave its viewing atmosphere. Hulu Originals can’t compete by emulating that model. (It doesn’t have a the budget, for one thing.) It can only compete by positioning itself against the streaming market leader.
Of courses, changes are afoot. Amazon is increasing its production budget. Disney is set to unveil its own service next year. (And don’t sleep on that. Disney buying Fox changes the game.) And who knows what Apple will do.
But for an alternative to Netflix, I’m finding I enjoy Hulu Originals more.
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