What started out as a simple, innocent "plan to destroy the world
actually, in fact, destroy the world. Hulu has always been something
that's "too good to be true." Free programming on-demand, wherever you
have an Internet connection? Even with pre-roll ads, it's still a solid
deal for the consumer, but it may not always be that way.
In an effort to tweak its business model to find new sources of
revenue, reports are suggesting that Hulu may end up charging users to
watch some of the more popular shows. Namely, 30 Rock, Modern Family
and House. The site is still weighing its options, so nothing is set in
stone just yet, but the writing seems to be on the wall.
Reportedly, those behind Hulu
's magic has been intently studying "how
to strike a balance between what people expect to watch free online and
what they would be willing to pay for," with one plan in particular
giving users five of the most recent episodes of a program for free;
after that, you'd need to pay a $4.99/month subscription fee to watch
older episodes. Of course, the site believes it will need at least 20
series in order to make that model attractive--no one wants to pay for
content until there's a lot of content to be consumed.
We'll have to wait until Hulu opens up and comments on the rumors
before knowing anything for certain, but if it's free TV you love, you
should probably watch lots and lots of it this weekend.