Sources Say Hulu Will Start Charging For Access In 1-2 Months

Enjoy watching Hulu? Well, you better go ahead and take the next week off of work in order to catch up on all of those old episodes of your favorite show, because the Free Lunch Parade may be ending. Ever since Hulu was introduced, users and analysts wondered if NBC would be able to keep it free. Users are forced to watch ads during the show, but it's still a pretty great deal for consumers when you look at just how expensive pay-TV is. Recently, rumors about pay-access to Hulu began to gain even more steam, and now it seems like an inevitability that pay access is coming sooner rather than later.

According to a new Reuters report that sources a few undisclosed people close to the situation, Hulu will soon begin "charging customers and is looking to expand its content to consumer devices like the Xbox and iPad." The decision to both start charging and really break into the app business makes sense; people are generally more willing to pay for an app than something else, and if Hulu somehow bundles the app subscription so that PC access is included, we think that few people would complain too loudly.

The report suggests that plans are now being made final, with a pay-for-access plan to be revealed and implemented in around a month or two. It's still hard to say whether or not the pay access will come before or after Hulu is made available on various devices and platforms, but we suspect the timing will be synchronized closely with those releases. As we have heard in the past, the eventual subscription plans will still allow users to watch very recent episodes of various shows for free, but older, archived material will cost.

By our watch, you've got until mid-summer to enjoy old Hulu content free of charge. After that, it'll probably cost you at least a small fee per month.