More evidence of a Hulu subscription model

By on October 23, 2009, 2:15 PM
During the recent OnScreen Media Summit, News Corp. exec Chase Carey made it known that users of Hulu can expect to pony up for some content by next year. "I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content," Carey said.

He added, "I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value...Hulu concurs with that, it needs to evolve to have a meaningful subscription model as part of its business." Carey was later asked when Hulu would begin charging, to which he replied that there was no concrete timeframe, but that 2010 seemed likely.


While it seems inevitable that Hulu will adopt some form of subscription model, Carey and others suggest that not all content will be behind a pay wall -- which could indicate some form of tiered access. One thing is certain though, the majority of Hulu's appeal stems from the fact that it is ad-supported, and otherwise free.

Will you resort to some other method of obtaining content for free (such as torrents) if Hulu starts charging? Will another service rise in Hulu's place?




User Comments: 12

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Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Since hulu is (in most cases) just providing a single clearinghouse for content that is available in other places on the net, I would think that it would be an extremely bad idea if it started charging for content you can find free elsewhere. The customer base will become a ghost town in no time, as any number of alternatives (like crackle) might hop in to take up the slack.

Now if the are charging for new premium content not available anywhere else, then I can see the pay scheme possibly paying off. But if they are banking on people being too stupid or lazy to go elsewhere for their content and save some money, then I can't say they have much of a future.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Just thought to add something... If they are charging AND getting advertising revenue, that will totally turn people off as well. If you can pay a small fee for a premium level and have no ads, they could probably draw people in that way. But if they are milking customers and getting ad revenue at the same time, well that's just greed taking over, plain and simple.

Guest said:

They finally realize if they don't offer it for free, there a large segment of the population that will just get the content illegally. This way it's free on there site, and can inflicint ad on the users (and earn revenue).

If they move back to a "paid" model, if it's not free, the users that go illegally will go right back.

LightHeart said:

For some reason the videos I've attempted to watch via Hulu have been choppy and not worth it. It seems I can go to other sites and have a better experience, so I don't use Hulu anyhow.

tepeco said:

"I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content," Carey said.

Interesting nospeak statement reminds me of Professor Irwin Cory who was the all time expert at saying a lot of nothing. I think it's a bad idea to begin a subscription service for content that is available elsewhere free. Unless of course, you want to simply replace 90% of your current users.

Guest said:

There have been rumors of this on the Hulu boards (I am turboaaa btw), and it seems that Hulu has not been listening.

Hulu has just stated to users of their site that they are improving the way they show adds by displaying ads based on what the user would want. ie video game news to gamers. If they start charging then this seems to be moot.

However, please keep in mind that Hulu has been showing the same ads to everyone for some time. This could be an indication that they are not selling enough ad space to make a profit. If this is truly the case then they have no choice but to start charging users, most of which will download illegally \ using the network's own website.

Hopefully the other rumor of them selling out to Comcast is just that, a rumor. I have nothing against Comcast but we all know what would happen to Hulu if this happened.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Hopefully the other rumor of them selling out to Comcast is just that, a rumor. I have nothing against Comcast but we all know what would happen to Hulu if this happened.

That service would be interrupted daily because of "fabulous new upgrades"?

Guest said:

Well I can understand it if it's reasonable like netflix, but they would have to have all episodes of every season for it to be worth it to anybody. Old shows would have to be free, I understand shows still airing sell seasons as or before the next ones air & that they would make something in some way back from the people using hulu. I use hulu occassionally to catch something I miss, but I still usually use torrents anyways since I get most episodes if they're not too old in well under an hour or half an hour. I love hulu though to catch up on episodes I'd missed years ago of old hard to find shows, hard to find on dvd let alone torrent. they don't have many episodes of some, but it's still nice. I have tons of shows on dvd though mainly the older ones I grew up on in the 80s once some were released so I suppose the way they display new episodes of current shows up to the last 5, should be free since you could've seen then on tv not too long ago. After that long, then maybe they could be part of something, but to be honest, if I don't find I use it too much by then, and even if I began using hulu much more by then, it wouldn't be worth over about 5 bucks amonth, especially for people using cable or whod on't watch much tv to begin with. (I'm not into too many new shows at the moment and I can deal with missing most if I don't catch them)

I tend to buy the older shows tht are hard to torrent anyways every time I find them somewhere, like The Preteder for example, I've had seasons of that forever, so hulu not having too much of that didn't bother me haha

To be honest though, if every episode of every season of the x-files was there in their decent hulu quality I would honestly subscribe until I had at least seen them all one more time heh

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

guess no more hulu for me i pay enough for cable tv as is, mas as well just watch tv

jakeshjo1953 said:

If you don't use Hulu anyhow then why are you reading this part of Techspot and answering questions you can't possibly know the answers too.

peacefulchaos said:

I use Hulu just about everyday to catch shows I would watch on TV if they were on at the same time I want to watch them - but they never are. I would rather not watch any television than pay for it. I don't expect to download illegally either. I will just find another use of my time. Lets just hope if they do start charging they follow in Pandora's footsteps and give a limit on the amount of hours you can use.free...which resets with each new account.made.

Guest said:

I've been an avid hulu user since it started. They were ahead of the curve, however if they plan to go with a subscription they need to provide something I can't get from just going to fox.com, nbc.com, etc... For example if they enabled you to utilize the service with people like roku, that would be something I'd pay for.

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