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Rest easy Hulu fans -- the coming subscription will reportedly only add additional services (like an iPad app), not take current ones away  (Source: Magic Tablet)
Premium service will be iPhone/iPad ready

LA Times report set internet surfers on red alert that their favorite TV episode source Hulu might soon be switching to a subscription service, billing its customers $9.99 a month.  That fee seemed pretty steep, when compared to cable offerings and brought the status of the service into question.

Fortunately, the date in question ("as soon as May 24") is fast approaching and there seems to be no sign of a subscription service.  According to 
All Things Digital's Peter Kafka, the parties involved (News Corp.’s Fox, Disney’s ABC, and GE’s NBC) may still be working to reach an agreement on the nature of the subscription service and are unready to deploy the service.

Kafka, though, says that the studios appear to agree that free content would continue to be offered in its current form, the subscription would only provide access to 
more episodes.  That's great news for worried Hulu fans everywhere, as it's always good when companies look to add more services a fee, not take existing services away.

The premium service would likely come with access to Hulu on the iPad or iPhone, via free apps.  Hulu has been cooking up these apps for some time now, but they have seen multiple delays.  It is unclear whether these delays stemmed from internal issues or navigating the tricky waters of Apple's App Store policies.

The Hulu subscription service will likely land in June or July at the soonest.  The latest info casts the move in a whole new light, changing it from a risky maneuver, to another smart move for a terrific website that recently became profitable.



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By rs1 on 5/18/2010 9:05:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, I was quite appalled by the following statement:

quote:
[...] and there seems to be no sign of a subscription service


Of course there isn't. In case anyone is unfamiliar with how companies generally deploy updates to live websites, the way it typically works is that the current/old version continues to run on the live server. At the same time, the new candidate release is deployed to an internal staging server, and thoroughly tested. If the testing finds no significant issues, then the deployment is given a green-light, and at some scheduled point in time the staged version is pushed to the live server (or sometimes they just switch places, with the stage server becoming the new live server, and the live server becoming the stage server for the next release).

As such, there will be no "signs" of a subscription service being worked on until the completed subscription service is deployed. If done correctly, its appearance will be seamless and near-instantaneous, with no prior evidence that it is under development. I mean, it's not like the standard practice is for developers to directly edit the live, running website as they implement new features.


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