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Skyfire explains why you can't watch Hulu

Hulu and Skyfire still aren't playing together, but at least the video streaming site and the Windows Mobile browser are now explaining why.

Says Skyfire:

Skyfire users have been wondering why Hulu videos are currently not playing in Skyfire. The answer is simple: Hulu has decided to block you from watching Hulu videos in the Skyfire browser, as part of blocking all mobile access to Hulu, as well as TV access such as with Boxee and PlayStation.

There is nothing wrong with your Skyfire browser, and you can watch other videos on the web.

As for Hulu? Well, Skyfire, that helpful bunch, points us to Hulu's reasoning.

For decades, the TV/movie industry has built its business model on a windowing strategy. Content rights are granted for limited time periods across specific distribution channels. For example, a movie starts in theaters, then moves to pay-per-view and DVD, then to pay-cable channels, later to broadcast, and so on down the line. Similarly, TV shows are available on TV first, then in repeats, then to DVD and possibly syndication, etc.Distribution availability across platforms — theaters vs. TV vs. recorded media like DVDs vs. online streaming vs. mobile phones — was always implicitly or explicitly controlled in that world. But a few factors have made the barriers between those platforms more permeable: the rise of the web, increased broadbandavailability, the ease of digitizing video, and the increase in the computing power of devices like gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and mobile phones.

However, in the near-term, the windowing strategy is still dominant in the business. Billions of dollars flow in across these different windows, and entire companies are organized around them. Nothing productive comes from flouting that reality (except to law firms who work on the occasional lawsuit).

Hulu did say "We do, however, expect these windows to converge over time. There's no way around that." Translation: It'll happen; we just have to figure out a way to make more money off of it. (OK, there may well be other licensing issues, too, but that's hardly sexy, now is it?)

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

14 Comments
  • To me, a mobile user is watching the same ads on their phone they would be watching on their laptop/desktop. So basically somebody is being a a$$. Be it Hulu or the content providers (most likely) somebody needs to pull their panties out of their crack.
  • This article really frustrates me because right after this issue was originally posted on WMExperts I wrote to Hulu complaining about the problem and got the exact same response from them. I then emailed WMExperts and explained to them what I had learned and received no response about the information I was willing to share. I would've had this info posted on here over a month ago when I wrote to Hulu. For me it's old news and I'm angry that WMExperts chose to not take the information I offered or even respond to my email at all.
  • OIC,,,, I thought there was something wrong with my cooked ROM....... Well lets get this figured out Hulu! You better before Netfix does! They are working hard on moble streaming. I'll gladly pay 10 buck a month to Netflix.
  • well forget hulu... ill stick with spb TV and metacafe, youtube, dailymotion, and the other hundreds of video sites that have movies and videos free hulu will realize they screwed up when the sites that allow mobile content to be streamed show how much profit they make from adds and hits from mobile devices... bad marketing strategies = bad business
  • Hulu's rationale for the decision to block Skyfire reflects poor reasoning skills somewhere up the decision chain. What difference does it make to them if I watch Hulu using Firefox on a desktop PC, Opera on a Windows laptop, Safari on a Macbook or IE on a netbook? There is no logical distinction between any of those nor should one be made for Skyfire on a mobile device. Someone, maybe a content provider as someone else mentioned, must have got the idea in their head that OMG some little program they never heard of before called Skyfire is stealing content via stealthy mobile devices. He or she is probably vaguely aware of practices like deep linking and embedding methods of stealing content (an actual problem for content providers) and are too dumb or too mentally lazy to try to understand how this is not that. If anything, Hulu should embrace Skyfire as it presents Hulu content completely and faithfully including the advertising.
  • Yeah, I was wondering why skyfire was blocked by, which i figured as much. I always thought the cell phone providers threw a chunk of many at them to get it blocked due to the fact that most of cell phone user don't pay extra money to watch stream tv, or videos. the explanation they provided is full of crap and the last user that post is right there is no different in which browser you use and and what platform you browse from. hulu see incoming connection from skyfire and blocks it.. sort on the same line as scripts or style sheets on certain sites detecting your mobile browser. you can block the detection. but instead of getting into all that.. just screw hulu, use fancast and other sites the guy above mentioned
  • I know this article was written some time ago but Hulu just worked via Skyfire on my Samsung Jack running WM6.5 Has something changed?
  • Get with the program fulnix. Hulu blocked its streaming. How long has it really been since you have watch Hulu on your Samsung Jack running WM6.5? Seriously. Something has changed.
  • thank you admin
  • Isn't fancast useing hulu? I will try it with skyfire, and see if it works, but i am pretty sure its Hulu rebranded
  • Thanks for admin..
  • i read your article..the things you have written sound very sincere and nice topics i am looking forward to its continuation.
  • There are ways around this. Do your research. I'm watching south park on hulu right now from my phone. It's Awesome!
  • well why don't you provide a link to show us "how to get around" this, Mr. Cleverpants