Boxee CEO Avner Ronen has a big heart–big enough to feel compassion for the big bad cable guys who had Hulu yanked off of his social media center, which allows Web sites and personal media libraries to stream to TVs.
At the Brite Conference in New York today, Ronen spoke about users bashing cable companies and executives, but he says that “most of them actually are forward thinkers. I think they get it, but there are billions of dollars on the line for them.”
Hulu was one of Boxee’s most popular sites, but with pressure from content providers, Hulu cut access in February. Ronen says, “In this economic time, the prospect of people downgrading their cable package to a lower tier is a big hurt to the profit margins” and noted that from Twitter, he sees that people are replacing cable with Boxee. Ronen says he’d love to work with cable companies, but “I think it’s going to take time. The industry usually doesn’t like destructing itself, and as a company, we want to own our own destiny.”
At the moment, Ronen says Boxee isn’t focusing on turning a profit but instead growing its user base and improving the product, which includes listening to users–meaning Ronen isn’t giving up on Hulu just yet.