What’s comes after cord cutting, Hulu’s new password-sharing policy

This week on TechHive: What comes after cord cutting?

About five years ago, I met with a streaming TV executive who warned me that everything in this business is cyclical.

This was during the boom times for services such as Netflix and Hulu, which had been chasing growth with aggressive prices and ballooning content catalogs. The exec’s implication were that th high times would eventually end, consumers’ discontent with streaming services would grow, and the cycle of TV disruption would start all over again.

I’ve been thinking about all that a lot lately, as our once-beloved streaming services make their heel turn with higher prices, more ads, and disappearing content. The time for discontent is here, and while there’s plenty you can do about it now, we can also start thinking about what might come next.

Read the full column on TechHive →


Weekly rewind

Hulu’s new password-sharing policy: Just like Disney+ before it, Hulu has updated its subscriber agreement to forbid password sharing with anyone outside your household. Both policies say they may “limit or terminate access” for violating the agreement, which takes effect now for new subscribers and on March 14 for existing ones.

Still unclear is how Disney will enforce the rules. As I wrote last year, Netflix’s own password sharing crackdown is largely a fishing expedition that can be worked around by switching up your home location periodically, and the company has no defined rules on how often you can do so. The crackdown has worked nonetheless—subscriptions and revenue are up—so it’s no surprise that other streamers are looking to follow.

Google TV’s obnoxious ads: This week, some Google TV users started seeing auto-playing video ads for Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s chicken tenders at the top of their home screens. When left alone, the ads would expand to nearly the entire screen, with sound. As 9to5Google notes, video ads themselves are not new on Google TV, but this seems to be the first time they’ve combined with physical goods such as fast food in such a prominent way.

We can credit Amazon for being a trailblazer in this category, having introduced full-screen ads and non-entertainment products to its top carousel last year. Google apparently thought this was a brilliant idea, and now Roku is hinting at more ads on its home screen as well. All of which leaves the Apple TV 4K as the last refuge for folks who don’t want a streaming device that turns their TV into a billboard.

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Save more money

With the Super Bowl approaching, now’s the time to lock in a free month of Paramount+. New and returning subscribers can use the code JUNE at checkout, but only on the Paramount+ with Showtime tier. You can cancel immediately after sign-up to avoid being auto-billed after your free month is over.

I’m not aware of any other working Paramount+ codes right now. If you’re unclear on how to redeem the free month, I have instructions here.

Other notable deals:

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Until next week,
Jared

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