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.