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.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.