Hulu Considering A Fee-Based Subscription Service? - HotHardware
Hulu Considering A Fee-Based Subscription Service?

Hulu Considering A Fee-Based Subscription Service?

What started out as a simple, innocent "plan to destroy the world" may 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.
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Did we not hear this over a month ago?

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This will be a tough, especially because people have NetFlix for older seasons of a show. This might just end up driving away their customer base. The only way I see this working for Hulu is if they did this gradually, something they already recognize, hence the 5 most recent episodes being free. But even this would come as a shock to many of their viewers. Perhaps if they started charging in their movie section only, and gauged the public reaction before fiddling around with TV shows.

There are rumors that Disney is unhappy with NetFlix and may switch over to Hulu, which isn't too shocking since they already own 27% of Hulu.

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I use Hulu to watch some old Sci-Fi shows now and again, but I don't think I would use it anymore if they switched from an advertiser to a subscription-based model. I *definitely* wouldn't use it if the shows still had adverts after paying for a subscription - because you can't FF through them like you can with cable/dvr.

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Agreed, they would have to adopt full playback features if they planned a subscription service, as well as dropping commercial and improving stream quality.

Hulu brought up this idea back in October and then dropped it once they saw the public backlash. It's funny how people's favorite sites stop being their favorites soon after they start asking for money.

In order to be fully subscription based, Hulu would have to become more like Netflix. They would need more popular cable shows, better movie selection, music videos, and same day airing of TV shows (this is would seal the deal for many people). They would also need to make their content accessible through more devices, such as mobile phones, pocket PCs, netbooks, gaming consoles etc.

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That's very true gibbersome; but why would anyone pay for anything with commercials, that's just dumb. I know people do it I would imagine not many though.

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rapid1:

 ...but why would anyone pay for anything with commercials, that's just dumb.

Lol, now that I think of it...would cable TV count? And movie theatres have been showing an increasing number of commercials before the previews as well.

Commercials have already irritated a portion of Youtube users. The point is that once you start including commercials within something that was ad-free before, you're doomed. Hulu might have a shot since they're going the opposite direction.

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no way,....I wont pay. 

It's out there somewhere for free and I'll find THAT!

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Yeah that's true to a point, at least on network TV channels. However on HBO cinemax stars etc they don't have commercials at least during the movies and shows.

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I do like Hulu's current service and caught up on some great shows that I miss. The internet and streaming media is taking over the world. Hulu was destined to have some sort of premium content at a set price. It won't be long before cable and satellite become non-existent and everyone uses game consoles or HTPC for all their viewing pleasures.

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this really burns me you know if it aint broke dont fix it! well i guess i will have to start up the tivo to catch my favorite show and hulu wont be getting my subscription.

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I like how most free places start out free then once they have gotten tons of people to use it then start a service so there are no commercials... brilliant!

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Der Meister:

I like how most free places start out free then once they have gotten tons of people to use it then start a service so there are no commercials... brilliant!

 

I guess you can call it greed. Hulu is owned by Disney, NBC, News Corp and Providence equity. If they can squeeze more money out of it before killing it, they will. Corporate culture is all about extracting the maximum amount of money from a short term project and getting out and moving to the next one.

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