Print 40 comment(s) - last by Wolfpup.. on Apr 26 at 11:21 PM

Hulu will be cutting users off from much of its content in May. To gain access to older content, they will now have to pay a subscription fee. More ads are coming soon, as well.
Customers will have to pony up $9.95 in order to see a comprehensive selection of the season's episodes; more ads coming, too

Since March 2008, Hulu has been offering guests a wealth of free TV episodes from parent companies NBC Universal (General Electric), Fox Entertainment Group (News Corp) and ABC Inc. (The Walt Disney Company).  Well, they're not totally free -- you have to watch the occasional ad.  Still, the premise has been a hit, rocketing Hulu to short list of elite websites that includes the likes of YouTube and Facebook.  

The last few months of 2009 were a happy one for Hulu -- it enjoyed its first profitable quarter.  Despite that success, early this year the reoccurring rumor popped up that Hulu was going to start charging subscriptions for at least some of its content.

The only difference is that this time the rumor appears to be true.  Starting in May, Hulu will reportedly air a $9.95 monthly subscription service.  It will continue to offer a bit of free content -- the five most recent episodes of popular shows like Fox's "Glee," "ABC's "Lost" or NBC's "Saturday Night Live".

The crucial difference will be that the current vast library of past episodes and content will be closed off from non-subscribers, accessible only if you pay the monthly fee.

That may be acceptable, considering the average Hulu episode has less commercials than the average TV episode.  But that's the other piece of bad news -- Hulu is reportedly considering upping its number of commercials in the near future as well.

Ultimately the subscription fee isn't horribly high.  However, it will certainly turn some away from the internet's second most popular video site.  And it will make it harder for users to share content, a major source of Hulu's popularity.  

The networks are intent on increasing their profits and bringing the Hulu revenue more in line with the cable offerings.  However, if they load the episodes with commercials, on top of the planned subscription fee, they just might find that internet users aren't quite as interested.

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By Lonyo on 4/22/2010 9:56:03 AM , Rating: 0
For $10/mo it's a lot cheaper than most cable/dish TV subscriptions, although it depends on whether the older content is ad supported as well, or whether it goes add free with the subscription.
Certainly cheaper than buying or renting individual episodes from places like iTunes or Amazon, although if Netflix did/does streaming TV, then it might be a hard sell. (I'm not in the US, but in the UK our Netflix equiv. does streaming of some Tv episodes).

RE: Reasonable
By ThePooBurner on 4/22/2010 11:00:14 AM , Rating: 2
Netflix has a huge library of TV shows for streaming. However it doesn't do current season, to my knowledge.

RE: Reasonable
By Belegost on 4/22/2010 11:06:19 AM , Rating: 3
While it has only managed to get a few shows currently running, it does have them. Right now the fiancee and I watch Legend of the Seeker on Netflix every week.

RE: Reasonable
By kattanna on 4/22/2010 11:41:43 AM , Rating: 4
a current netflix show, spartacus blood and sand is VERY worth watching.

too bad the 1st season is over now.

RE: Reasonable
By Shin Messiah on 4/23/2010 12:16:27 AM , Rating: 2
On Netflix, during the last Heroes season they would air you could stream new episodes within a day or two of it being broadcast on tv.I belive House was/is the same

RE: Reasonable
By SunAngel on 4/22/2010 11:50:16 AM , Rating: 2
So true. I paid $17/month alone for the hd-dvr and at any given time could only hold 40 1-hour hd episodes. So for $9.95/month I am very happy to pay and get the entire library at will. Even more so, I will up my internet speed to 50 down/20 up and pick up Comcast's 4G/3G service. Now everyone in the house can watch and not get stuttering when one too many is watching at the same time.

RE: Reasonable
By stirfry213 on 4/22/2010 12:19:49 PM , Rating: 3
Current episodes is about all I watch on Hulu, so this is fine by me.

However, if I decided to pay $10/mo, I'd expect more in return than just giving me access to what I previously had. I wish that Netflix and Hulu could join forces in some way to provide both movies and current episodes.

RE: Reasonable
By kattanna on 4/22/2010 12:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
I wish that Netflix and Hulu could join forces

that would be an awesome merger.

i'd also like to see Hulu become a channel on the roku player that i use for netflix already.

RE: Reasonable
By FITCamaro on 4/22/2010 12:31:45 PM , Rating: 2
If they offered good HD quality with all new shows available, I wouldn't even bother with cable service. Just get internet. Course that'd be a problem come football season.

RE: Reasonable
By Spuke on 4/23/2010 12:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
If they offered good HD quality with all new shows available, I wouldn't even bother with cable service. Just get internet. Course that'd be a problem come football season.
Yep, I'd pay the money for HD streaming. But I would have to wonder how the streaming compression compares with broadcast or DirecTV/Dish's compression. If it's the same cool, if not, I'll stick with DirecTV. Football would be an issue though.

RE: Reasonable
By Reclaimer77 on 4/22/2010 4:21:05 PM , Rating: 5
10 a month is reasonable. 10 a month WITH ads is not!

Burn in hell Hulu. You sold out.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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