Feeds

Big TV flips ad blockers the bird

Hulu says goodbye

Build a business case: developing custom apps

At Hulu - the ad-driven streaming video site cooked up by media giants NBC and News Corp. - you can watch mainstream feature films and big-name TV shows without paying a penny. But you aren't welcome if you've installed an ad blocker.

Roughly a month ago, Hulu began serving this message to any user who dares equip their Firefox browser with an Adblock Plus plug-in:

Hulu AdBlock Attack

A hint from Hulu

And this missive may be triggered by other ad blockers as well. "Our detection method is 'ad blocking software' agnostic and should present the user with this message regardless of browser or software," a company spokesman told us. "While ad blocking software updates never end, we will continue to invest in methods to protect our Content, Distribution and Advertising Partners so we can continue to offer our users premium content with a solid experience."

Hulu insists it isn't actually preventing these users from viewing video. So the bit that says "if you see this message repeatedly, you may need to disable your software" is just FUD.

But we wouldn't be surprised if the company puts the block on ad blockers in the not-too-distant future. "Hulu is a legal service brought to users completely for free through the support of our advertising partners," that spokesman continued. "Our intention is to build a successful long-term business model in order to provide users with compelling premium online video."

The question is, How many other sites will join Hulu in its ad block crackdown? As more and more advertising moves to the web, more and more people are installing ad blockers. According to the latest numbers from Mozilla, makers of the Firefox browser, Adblock Plus has been downloaded by nearly 20 million people, and nearly four million are active daily users.

The other question is, How will the ad block crowd respond to such a crackdown? They may tell Hulu to shove it. But what happens when YouTube fires up a Hulu-like missive? Do those users uninstall their ad blockers - or do they leave? And if they leave, what happens over at Mozilla?

Remember, YouTube is owned by Google. And Google is Mozilla's sugardaddy. ®

Bootnote

A tip of the hat to Silicon Alley Insider.

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.