You don’t know it yet, but in five years, your main source of entertainment will be Hulu

By Alexander Aciman

In the last 10 years, Hulu seems to have touched half-heartedly every corner of the online streaming world from. At its inception, it was a platform that aired recent television episodes; years later it would become a temporary home to the entire Criterion collection, a cinephile favorite. Eventually Hulu became a subscription-only service that charged as much as Netflix, but offered a catalog only a fraction of the size, and still had commercials on most of its programs. Over the past two years, it has worked hard to earn credentials as a studio, even with its meager library of original content.

Hulu seems to have explored every possible avenue only to wind up smaller, more scattered than its competitors, and just as expensive. It looks like a streaming service mid identity crisis. And after watching a three-minute ad shoehorned inelegantly between a joke on a TV show, or finding that your favorite program is mysteriously no longer available, you might even start to think that Hulu is waging war against the idea of attracting and retaining subscribers itself. But you’d be wrong. Despite this appearance of total cluelessness, the company is home to visionaries who understand how people will watch television in the future.

While other streaming services are busy competing with the current state of cable, Hulu, unlike its competitors, has been building out its platform and its services in a way that anticipates the moment when digital platforms will be able to replace cable entirely and when subscribers will begin to rely more and more on their streaming services.

Which is to say: You don’t know it yet, but in five years, your main source of entertainment will be Hulu.

Over the last few years, viewers have started cutting cords with cable companies. By turning to services like Netflix, Amazon, and HBO Now for quality content, viewers who were once tied to overpriced bundles have been able to circumvent dealing with cable companies altogether. In addition to full streaming platforms, niche packages like MLB TV—which allows subscribers to pay a set fee and watch baseball on their devices—have helped contribute to this movement. There are entire online communities dedicated to cord-cutting—forums and threads with advice on how to get the shows one wants, how to stack services, how to mix and match. Cord-cutting still requires multiple subscriptions and a little ingenuity (including the time-honored practice of piggybacking off parents’s Amazon Prime accounts) in order to have access to the content you desire. No service has been able to bring cord-cutting to a single platform.

And yet, despite the growing cord-cutting movement—cable lost almost 400,000 subscribers in 2015—cutting the cord entirely is relatively rare, and relies largely on the recent rapid growth of Netflix and Amazon.

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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.


The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance