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Jason Kilar, Hulu CEO  (Source: Patrick McElhenney/FX)
Pressure is mounting from content providers to make the switch to paid subscriptions

Hulu, a NBC Universal, News Corporation, and Walt Disney Company joint venture, has established itself as one of the most beloved video sites on the internet.  It practices a philosophy of quality over quantity, airing desirable content like television episodes from an elite group of content providers.  That means that while it may never have the net traffic of a free-for-all video site like YouTube, it has a much steadier audience and is arguably a more effective place to advertise.

Jason Kilar, Hulu's CEO, announced that the company has been profitable for two quarters now, as it enters its third year of existence.  Sources close to the company say that the company stands to make even bigger gains with the launch of the Apple iPad, for which Hulu is reportedly creating a custom app.

The company is not without some problems, though.  Hulu has 200 content suppliers, which received 50 to 70 percent of the advertising revenue from Hulu's video content.  Traffic has tripled over the last year to 903 million streams delivered in January.  Many content providers, however, are still complaining about their checks being too small.  They would prefer Hulu to adopt a subscription-fee based system.

Viacom was among the most frustrated, and it acted, pulling the plug on Hulu's rebroadcasted episodes of Comedy Central shows like “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report."

Still, Hulu pulled in $100M USD last year in ad revenue and could more than double that this year, according to Kilar.

Kilar reportedly is considering using the iPad as a test-bed for a subscription based service.  However, he seems wary of a user rebellion if he tries that.  He states, "Our mission is to help people discover the world’s premium content, and we believe that subscriptions can help to unlock some of that, including sports and movies and premium cable shows. We’re certainly open to subscriptions as a complement to an ad-supported model."

Another problem from Hulu is that it still hasn't delivered on its long-awaited iPhone app.  The app was expected in 2009, but never arrived; many are hoping it lands this year.

Despite these obstacles, Hulu seems unlikely to move out of the picture when it comes to internet video.  Its ability to become profitable without charging subscriptions is very impressive and hopefully content providers don't try to push to hard and mess up the good thing they started.

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RE: Flash?
By bill4 on 4/3/2010 2:52:30 AM , Rating: -1
If Hulu really does charge for iPad users but not other platforms, all it means is everybody will watch Hulu on those other free platforms instead. I mean few iPad owners wont also own a real laptop or a desktop.

So basically it will just boil down to one more strike against the ipad: no hulu.

But I think Mick just did his usual fabrication job on the story. Maybe it's just poorly worded, but there doesn't actually seem to be anything suggesting Hulu is considering a subscription for iPad. It's possible it's just Mick's idea, so he wrote a story over it.

Oh good grief, I'm looking over the rest of Dailytech's stories and I already spot the Mick trash all over. "Here's 8 more blogs about the EPA and electric cars, I write 40,000 of those every day because I love global warming mythology and bad science". "Here's 47 more stories about stupid science shit like nanotechnology that means absolutely nothing in the real world"

Mick, if science is doing so great, when was the last time they cure a major disease? Why are you writing up this nanotechnology and other BS, when people are dying of cystic fibrosis and cancer every day and nobody can do anything about it? Dennis Hopper is dying of cancer right now, where is the fucking nanotechnology? Where is the promise of gene therapy? It never happened, it was just more oversold science, that's where.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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