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According to co-owner News Corp, the popular Hulu internet TV service may start charging users subscription fees as early as next year. The site's content is mostly available for free on local broadcast television.  (Source: Hulu)
Just a few fateful words send our dreams of a free Hulu future plunging

Oh fate, why must you mock thee?  After many happy hours of watching, free Hulu may be set to kick the can.  According to a new report the popular internet TV service may begin charging for content as early as next year.

It seems like just a few months ago that happy days were upon us and Hulu was looking to spread its free loving to more and more places, including the iPhone and mobile sphere (wait, that was a few months ago).  Then came the fateful revelation from Chase Carey, President, Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Deputy Chairman of News Corporation (which co-owns Hulu), stating the days of freebies were drawing to an end.

States Mr. Carey, "I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content. I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value,” Carey said. “Hulu concurs with that, it needs to evolve to have a meaningful subscription model as part of its business."

When asked when the end of the world -- or at least free Hulu -- might occur, Mr. Carey replied that the Hulupocalypse was set to occur sometime next year, in 2010.  He offered us weak reassurance cheering "not all content on Hulu would be behind a pay wall".

The move brings into question Hulu's future.  Many users would stop using Hulu if it wasn't free.  It doesn't seem like many users would pay cable-like fees for content that is already available for free on broadcast television, or at minimal cost with basic cable.  And if those users forsake Hulu, they'll take a pile of advertising revenue with them.

There's still faint hope that the end of free Hulu might be averted.  Indeed, Comcast is looking to partner with Hulu, so that could alter the equation dramatically.  And faced with too much backlash News Corp. may change its mind.  And current co-owner NBC could even nix the idea.  The optimist inside many of us likely will hope for this very badly.  But the pessimist will think that, in the end it will probably happen, and lament why free Hulu had to die so young.  Why do the good always die young?



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Bye bye Hulu
By a little different on 10/23/2009 12:13:01 AM , Rating: 5
I love Hulu, but not enough to pay for it! I just need to stop being so lazy and set the DVR!
The internet is great, because its free (after I pay my way to get on it). To me, the great things on the net are free. But when greed kicks in, I have no compassion. Hulu runs ads to make up for their service. And now I will have to pay for a subscription, and watch the ads? Lets count all those subscriptions we have now. To many to deal with!
Aloha Hulu. You were fun when you were free!




RE: Bye bye Hulu
By iFX on 10/23/2009 9:12:43 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I love Hulu, but not enough to pay for it!


This sums up my feelings about Hulu as well. I use it a lot but I still have a TV and should Hulu start charging I can catch my shows on OTAHD instead.


RE: Bye bye Hulu
By Sazar on 10/23/2009 5:13:17 PM , Rating: 2
I can certainly understand the point you are making. However, if there is a subscription model, even a tiered one, it's not a total loss if many items will still be available for free.

Take Pandora for example. I purchased PandoraOne because I wanted higher quality, ad-free music with unlimited skips across my artists (still locked to 6 skips per "channel" per hour). And I love it.

If Hulu provides a way for me to skip a lot of the commercials that I am otherwise watching, in order to better my viewing experience, so be it.

Hulu has introduced me to some shows I otherwise would not have cared about and since I've been out with the flu recently, I binged on those channels :)

Joost is the only other service that comes close to Hulu, but it is vastly inferior.


RE: Bye bye Hulu
By kattanna on 10/27/2009 1:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
actually, it might be a good thing.

right now hulu doesnt have a lot of the old episodes of shows. but maybe with a paying model, it could be more like a netflix streaming service.

if they do it with a monthly subscription fee, instead of a per movie/show fee, and make it available on my ROKU box.. i might actually get it.

and if a paying model brings in other channels shows like discovery networks science channel, the history channel.. etc, i would be able to completely drop my dish subscription. a long ways to go from here to that, but.. if/when someone does do it, and does it right, it should be huge.


RE: Bye bye Hulu
By Schrag4 on 10/29/2009 2:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
I was actually thinking the exact same thing. I'd be VERY interested in paying for a service like hulu if I could drop my cable TV altogether and just use my cable internet connection to watch all of my shows. Yes, I'd have to have some sort of hardware between my ISP and the TV, but I'm almost at that point already in my house. I understand that a lot of TVs and other non-PC video devices also have ways to get streaming video built right into them.

To me this would be a step in the direction of paying for the networks that I actually watch and NOT paying for the networks that I do NOT watch. Oh, and that's a good thing in my opinion (apparently this is debateable...).


"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

















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