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Will you subscribe at half the price?  (Source: Hulu)
Rumor suggests that $9.99 price was more than most beta users were willing to pay

Networks and movie rental firms see the writing on the wall; many consumers are starting to demand streaming content rather than having to watch via conventional TV or cable service. Netflix has a very robust streaming service and the company now considers itself a streaming firm that also mails DVDs.

Hulu announced this summer that it would be bringing a subscription service to users that would allow them to access more shows and movies and watch that content on devices like web connected TVs, the iPad, and the iPhone. When Hulu first talked the service up the price for a membership was pegged at $9.99 per month. Hulu has been testing the service with some lucky users for a few months now. 

According to 
AllThingsD sources are now saying that Hulu is considering a significant reduction in the price of its streaming service. That price reduction rumor, if true, would seem to suggest that beta users are not as interested in the service at nearly $10 per month as Hulu expected. The sources cited by AllThingsD claim that Hulu is looking at a new price of $4.95 per month.

If that rumor turns out to be true, the price should make the service much more appealing to users considering that for about the same $10 the subscription Hulu service was going to cost, Netflix users can get streaming and DVDs in the mail.



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RE: I heard...
By guacamojo on 10/22/2010 12:24:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
why should I pay $5 for a copy of your magazine when every third page is nothing but ads? Pick one!

Why should they pick one?

The magazine would be $20 if it didn't have ads (like Consumer Reports); how much would that reduce their circulation? Would you buy it?

Conversely, how hard is it for you to flip past the ads? I'd venture it's much easier for you to skip ads in print than on TV...

I think you're severely low-balling the cost of a commercial-free service. They have to pay for the content somehow, and $20-30 per month won't do it.


RE: I heard...
By Motoman on 10/23/2010 10:59:10 AM , Rating: 2
That's just the thing.

As noted, as the consumer, it's pretty darned easy to flip right past those ads in a magazine or newspaper. They don't really intrude into your enjoyment of the magazine.

That's totally different than commercials in TV shows. If you're watching live TV, you either have to sit through the commercials for a few minutes, or resort to channel surfing and play a bit of a game, trying to avoid the annoying commercials but yet not miss any of the show you wanted to watch.

When the TV service is free to the consumer, like OTA or streaming from the network's website (like, watching an NCIS episode on CBS.com that you missed), the commercials are what paid for your ability to see the show. Therefore...I'm OK with it. I may be annoyed that I have no way to skip or fast forward through the commercials in that NCIS episode from CBS.com...but I remind myself that I didn't have to pay anything to see it, so I just do my best to ignore the commercials while they play.

When a TV service is paid for by the consumer, it seems inappropriate to have commercials interspersed throughout the shows as normally would be done with an OTA service. The consumer in this case is directly paying the provider for their service...and when commercials are then forced upon the consumer, the consumer is effectively paying the provider to make them watch commercials (that the provider has made money on already from the advertiser). Way back when cable TV first came out, one of the promises that got people to switch was the promise of less advertising...since you were paying for the service. That promise was dropped faster than a prom dress.

Now, I know that it may be unlikely that a network/provider could operate completely on subscription fees...but it may be that no one has leveraged current technology on that kind of business model to make it work. Failing any way to have paid-for TV (and other paid-for video services) be completely commercial-free, I'd be pretty happy to see it's advertising limited to the way PBS does their "sponsorships." Right at the beginning of a PBS show, there will be a brief display of someone's logo, with a voice over...something like "This episode of 'Cats Licking Themselves' brought to you by Legg's Pantyhose" - which lasts no longer than it takes the announcer to say those words. Then the show starts, runs it's entirety, and then the sponsor is noted again in the closing credits. That is as classy a way to do TV/video advertising as you're going to get. It's unobtrusive but makes sure the consumer knows who underwrote the show they're watching...and because it's not annoying to the consumer, probably does a lot more in the way of generating good will than having to sit through 3 minutes of commercials every 10 minutes.


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