Watching a stupid Apple story reproduce itself in the tech press is particularly easy to observe if you use RSS (I personally use and recommend the excellent NetNewsWire on the desktop and Reeder for iOS devices – you’re welcome, guys). You see the original stupid Apple story at time t, regurgitated by 5-6 outlets, who basically copy it wholesale, at t+1, plus another 3-4, who are either more analytical or lazier about reporting it, at t+5. The original source will sometimes splash “exclusive” across its headline, which happens with more regularity than a headline containing the disclaimer of “rumor”. It’s the circle of life in tech. Think of it as intelligence composting.
One such story, which started out very close to compost appeared on MacNN, based of course on an unsubstantiated rumor. It claims that Hulu Plus has been ready for the AppleTV for some time, but is being held back because it may eat into Apple’s veritable Fort Knox, also known as iTunes.
This is fucking stupid.
First of all, Apple makes very little on the music, movies and television shows hosted in iTunes. Apple maintains iTunes to sell Macs, iPhones, iPads and AppleTVs. Secondly, Apple has Netflix on the AppleTV, which offers much of the same content that appears on iTunes. The reasoning for why Hulu content is “different” is that it’s “more recent”. Please. So now the reason that Apple is willfully withholding Hulu is the 1% of iTunes content that doesn’t appear in Netflix, yet is featured by both Hulu and iTunes, content that Apple makes practically no money on anyway.
I did happen to notice that Google released version 2.0 of its stillborn Google TV OS recently. I wonder if this unsubstantiated “rumor” was dropped by anyone connected with that non-event. Not that Google could claim that Hulu Plus was a feature that differentiated it from the AppleTV – they appear to be “withholding” it too. So maybe the “withholding” has nothing to do with what either Apple or Google want? Nah…
That elastic stretching sound you hear in the background is the effort going into making another nonsensical rumor into an Apple news headline. Pay no attention to the dipshits behind the curtain.