Hulu and Boxee Split

In a previous post, I discussed Boxee, a terrific new home media app. Today, Boxee announced that they would no longer provide access to content from Hulu, per Hulu’s request:

two weeks ago Hulu called and told us their content partners were asking them to remove Hulu from boxee. we tried (many times) to plead the case for keeping Hulu on boxee, but on Friday of this week, in good faith, we will be removing it. you can see their blog post about the issues they are facing.

Hulu has more:

Later this week, Hulu’s content will no longer be available through Boxee. While we never had a formal relationship with Boxee, we are under no illusions about the likely Boxee user response from this move. This has weighed heavily on the Hulu team, and we know it will weigh even more so on Boxee users.

Our content providers requested that we turn off access to our content via the Boxee product, and we are respecting their wishes. While we stubbornly believe in this brave new world of media convergence — bumps and all — we are also steadfast in our belief that the best way to achieve our ambitious, never-ending mission of making media easier for users is to work hand in hand with content owners. Without their content, none of what Hulu does would be possible, including providing you content via and our many distribution partner websites.

I don’t see any reason for this, other than Hulu’s content providers — television networks like NBC and Fox — don’t at all get what new media is all about. I think these groups see Boxee as a replacement for “television,” something that allows people to drop their cable companies and grab content off the web.

Of course, Boxee is that. Exactly that.

But that’s an argument for television networks to remove their content from the web, and not from one particular front-end that provides access. Why is a browser OK, but Boxee not OK?

Doesn’t make sense, other than the people making these decisions just don’t get it.


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