TechSpot

Hulu to start charging for services?

By Matthew
Jun 4, 2009
  1. During an Internet Week event a couple of days ago, News Corp.’s chief digital officer, Jonathan Miller, said he foresees subscription-based access to at least some of Hulu’s content. Before you grab the pitch forks and torches - the vision is presently only of Miller’s speculation. That said, he continued by suggesting that he didn’t see why pay-based content wouldn’t happen, backing the idea further by calling it a “logical thing.”

    Read the whole story
     
  2. OneArmedScissor

    OneArmedScissor TS Rookie Posts: 49

    Doesn't he realize that this is the internet, and a fairly large amount of people think they don't have to pay for anything that's just computer data? :p

    That would be some way to fight piracy. Not only charge for something people can otherwise obtain "free," even though they have ads to make money, but start charging for something that was literally free to begin with (assuming fees would apply to services that are already available, not entirely new services).

    It's interesting to think that, for the longest time, newspapers and magazines have been sold at cost, or possibly even a loss, with the profit coming exclusively from advertising.

    And yet, as the internet moves to supplant printed media, they want to have their cake and eat it, too. I don't think so, Tim. A site like Hulu may not be cheap to operate, but I also doubt it costs as much as printing a paper and sending it to everyone who uses it, every day.

    What they need to do is figure out ways to use advertising that are equally as new and inventive as so many other things the internet has led to. As it is, the internet is just copying the print and TV models, when it is not really either of them.

    Charging people will just turn them away to the other alternative, piracy, which, as questionable as it may be, is readily available and very nearly accepted in today's society. The website then loses ad money, and the content owners, along with it. I don't think it's fair that they get to make the users pay for their lack of innovation, when there is virtually limitless potential.
     
  3. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,392   +16

    Is it just me or do all these big corporations just keep "recycling" the same old people and receive the same old mixed results rarely ever hitting gold? /boggle

    Anyway I couldn't disagree more with Miller, it's not the "logical thing" for consumers maybe for greed and News Corp a conglomerate I'm not really fond of anyway. Its quiet the opposite and taking steps backwards once again from where I stand for us all. And no Miller is once again wrong thinking customers flock to bundles...they do because there is no OTHER choice...its the lowest price for a service or product (and its not even low) compared to little or no alternatives in a given market. Occasionally its nice but more then not I find only bundles and nothing else rather irritating.

    Instead of find more viable advertisement methods they always seem to resort to pay services. I'm definitely with scissor on this as well. I don't mind if they ad more advertisement per show or some new innovation of it, but straight up pay services? No go, for me maybe as an alternative for advertisement free on-top of free content maybe even premium movie content too w/ it etc. But that as the only option isn't an option at all.

    Being digital reduces overhead significantly and they could do so much with that, instead they (not only Hulu/News Corp) try to squeeze every penny out of an already saturated consumer market. And then they wonder when people hate them and are fed up with there shenanigans.
     
  4. tengeta

    tengeta TS Enthusiast Posts: 632

    Ok, then Hulu will collapse and 90% of those people will go back to piracy.

    Smart business tactic!

    Paper news became the same garbage that was on Television every night, thats why newspapers around the country are dying. Call it a traditional form of media, but the only thing that makes it that is the fact its printed on paper.
     
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,690   +334

    I like Hulu the way I use it, which is not the way they want people to use it. I view their stuff through Plex, which is an awesome port of XBMC for OSX. I then watch it on my HDTV, I still get their ads and stuff, but the Plex interface is nice, and it works (for now). But Hulu doesn't like it to work and they've broke it a couple times. Now if they start charging, I'll just find my content elsewhere. Right now, the convenience is worth the ads, but if they are going to start charging without making it HD then I'll just obtain the HD versions of what I want, without commercials.
     
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,055   +970

    I don't mean to side with the big corporations, but they being continually presented with yet another venue where they have to apportion their ad revenue. There is after all, only so much as money to spend, and at some point they would have to raise the price of their product to offset it. This would make them less competitive.
     
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,690   +334

    The problem with your argument captaincranky is that they don't have to find another alternative advertisement area as of now, they already are having ads on Hulu. Maybe this isn't working for the networks, but if I was an advertiser I'd tell the networks "this works for us, if you move to X that doesn't work for us, good luck!". The Advertisers here are the ones in power, they apparently accept hulu, if the networks are losing money then sell more ads rather than charging for pay service (which very few will use).
     
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,055   +970

    You've turned the argument into a chicken or the egg question. Does the ad money exist in the first place? Nothing can be sold if the price of purchase doesn't exist. If the advertisers think, feel, or believe that their ad revenue would be more effective elsewhere, then elsewhere is where they'll go.
    The problem with advertising on hulu is the adience is smaller, and it's also a bit less captive than on broadcast TV. Which is why a company on the order of Proctor & Gamble goes for air time, and some off the wall energy drink that nobody's heard of winds up on Hulu.

    So, if you wanted to rent a billboard, would you pay more for one on a major thoroughfare, or less for one on a backstreet. All things being equal, let's say you spend a hundred dollars for the poor side of town, and you sell $10,000 worth of product. Then you pay $1,000 for the highway, and sell $100,000 worth product. The percentages are the same, but the cash flow return is way skewed toward the the more expensive location.

    This is where the chicken or the egg comes in, is the network not motivated to sell more advertising, or are the advertisers not disposed as to buy it?

    In any event, I agree that it would be rude to have to pay for hulu. And also that service gives broadcast TV a break from scheduling reruns, so that more original material could be/ would have to be develope,. and we don't have to be chained to our TV on Friday night to watch "Dollhouse". Old people like myself have nothing more pressing to do, so I'm just thinking of you young whippersnappers when I say that. :rolleyes:
     
  9. windmill007

    windmill007 TS Rookie Posts: 311

    I think they should offer a paid service along side their free service. Paid would give you everything without commercials plus maybe Super HD and a interface to use it on your TV? I think Hulu needs to get a lot more content and that may make people leave cable and sat. I know I would switch if I could pay...for less...and have as good of HD, and a interface to use on my TV...Oh and I want Dolby digital sound. Until they can offer all that they will never over take Cable , sat or OTA.
     
  10. publishing is less than paper, but web ads are less $. so both face similar problem.
    i suggest offering low bandwidth versions (iow, no heavy doc.write flash ads, etc) of 'content', but use more efficient metering or average cost. then pay through isp bill.
    possibly privacy concerns could be better dealt with, too?
     
  11. hmm, for "crossover states", you could be correct regarding vapid content in newspapers. but ime the larger papers (eg, latimes) are still better and faster to use than any other "news media".

    by default, i ignore ads in all formats ;-)

    btw, i don't know what hulu is (like a tvguide? slingbox imitator, whatever that was? tivo?), but hulu's "we're aliens here to rot your brain with tv -- mwaha mwaha" ads are cute.
     
     
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,690   +334

    Its really not that hard to go to www.hulu.com to see what it is about before commenting on it.
     
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,055   +970

    This approaches Amazon.com's 2 bucks an episode, will keep you from "jonesing" until the DVD is released, download strategy.
     
  14. fastco

    fastco TS Rookie Posts: 1,511

    Youtube has more and more TV shows on every week. I am not going to pay to watch old episodes of CHIPS although I love that show!
     
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,913   +92


    C.H.I.P.S !? well now thats just silly......now Full house, there is a show :p:haha:
     
  16. OUTLAWXXX

    OUTLAWXXX TS Rookie Posts: 51

    Hulu isn't even that good, watched saturday night live all kinds for a bit but then couldn't find anything else interesting on it. now they think people wanna pay for this shitty site?
     
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