Let me preface this: I don’t have cable TV. I get all my content by paying for Netflix and Hulu Plus. Back when I had cable, I’d learn about new TV shows from commercials. Now it’s harder unless I scour the TV news or visit the networks’ websites. That said, I use Hulu a lot more than Netflix and the stats back me up: 1,427 videos watched since December 2008, and 95% of these are full shows, not clips! Hulu just makes it easier for me to find new TV shows to watch. Why? I’ll tell you what’s up.
About once a week, I check out the most popular shows on Hulu to see if there’s anything new I might be interested in.
So where do we start? Netflix puts their TV shows on the same release schedule as Hulu, and they’re in HD. With NO COMMERCIALS! So why do I use Hulu more? The problem is discovery. Netflix, you just revealed a redesigned home page, but it’s just a wider version of the old junk with bigger thumbnails. This doesn’t help me find new TV shows that I’d prefer to watch commercial-free on your service. Ok, so you have a little banner on the box art that says “NEW EPISODES”, that’s a good first step, but I’d like to see a list of the most popular shows of the day, week, or month. Yes, just like Hulu, but without having to use a third party site like InstantWatcher.com.
Here’s a recent example that pissed me off, knowing that I wasted time watching commercials and waiting for new episodes to air: Stargate Universe was cancelled (unfortunately), and I’d just finished watching the episode Twin Destinies when I heard the news. There was nothing on Hulu for what seemed like months. I thought, Shit, no more episodes, that really sucks. I guess I’m done with the series. Then one day I noticed the following on the show’s Hulu page: “Episodes are available after the end of the on-air season.” Fuck that! Knowing there were still more episodes (eight of them in fact!) pissed me off. I wanted my fix right there, right then!
I was about to go download them illegally when I thought, let me just check Netflix for shits and giggles. Lo and behold, there’s this sweet show page (seen below) that had half those episodes available! (18-20 weren’t available at the time, but they are now!) What’s that you say? It’s in HD when I’ve been watching it SD since season one on Hulu? Also there’s NO COMMERCIALS on Netflix? It made my night. (If you look at the Hulu image above, You’ll notice they’re only allowed to post 5 episodes at a time, so they’re behind 3 episodes.)
Netflix, please make it easier for me to find the shows that are airing next day on your website. I’m sure if you had this, and let people know, you’d gain some customers. You’d make me happy, for one. You already have the upper hand with a lot of the viewing rights; most shows on Hulu I can’t stream to my TV without using PlayOn (or another service).
Also, can you give me a silly ‘watched video’ count so I can just keep track of how much time I’ve wasted rotting my brain?