If you're a big fan of Comedy Central's programming, you probably know that the best way to watch their shows online is directly on their website. From big names to single season flops, you can watch most of Comedy Central's content for free right on the web. Their business model for providing this content for free has been advertising revenue.
Apparently Comedy Central is no longer content with the amount of money they earn from ad revenue and is trying out a new business model. Teaming up with Hulu, Comedy Central is making all episodes of all seasons of South Park available exclusively through Hulu Plus.
This represents a shift in business concept. Rather than relying exclusively on advertising revenue, Comedy Central is now relying exclusively on syndication fees. This will also change the behavior of how to watch South Park online. For the first time ever South Park will be available only behind the Hulu Plus paywall.
While this may be temporary good news for Comedy Central's bottom line, it may not remain as good news in the long run. After offering all of their online content for free for so long, such a dramatic shift might turn viewers off. However, since we are talking about South Park, maybe not. People have continued to watch the show on television and online even as the creators themselves have gotten tired of it.
So, will Comedy Central be able to build on their strong viewership or will this move turn viewers away from South Park altogether? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.