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Marilyn.

Hulu pushes forward with $9.95 subscription service

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Filed: Other Country: Canada
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Hulu, the popular online site for watching television shows, plans to begin testing a subscription service as soon as May 24, according to people with knowledge of the plans.

Under the proposal, Hulu would continue to provide for free the five most recent episodes of shows like Fox's "Glee," "ABC's "Lost" or NBC's "Saturday Night Live." But viewers who want to see additional episodes would pay $9.95 a month to access a more comprehensive selection, called Hulu Plus, these people said.

Hulu, which ranks second only to Google's YouTube in terms of monthly video streams in the U.S., said it turned an operating profit in its two most recent quarters. The 2-year-old service, which is owned by media giants News Corp., NBC Universal and the Walt Disney Co., generated more than $100 million in revenue from advertising.

Still, that doesn't come close to matching the revenue that these companies are accustomed to raking in from their more established businesses. That's why Hulu is under pressure from its owners to collect a subscription fee to both bolster revenue and train viewers to pay for online access to professionally produced content.

Television executives don't want to suffer the same fate as music industry or newspapers, which saw users flock to free access to songs, stories and classified ads online -- and revenues plummet.

In the past, Hulu primarily offered shows that were broadcast over the air for free. But now, as the major networks are trying to extract payments from cable operators and television station groups, they can no longer justify offering the same shows online for free. Shows on Hulu also carry commercials, however there are fewer spots there than on regular television. Ultimately, Hulu is expected to adopt the same commercial loads as network television.

Hulu did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/04/hulu-pushes-forward-with-995-subscription-service.html

hmm, not sure if I would subscribe or not :unsure:


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Filed: Country: Philippines
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I've heard rumors about this for awhile. Since they are only going to test it out, I think they'll find out that it won't work as many other online media sources have also tried and failed.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Ireland
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A big part of the reason I ditched cable was how advert heavy the programs were and the cost paid just to be hammered with adverts. On the other hand I like Hulu as it's basically free and has little in the way of adverts compared to cable. Asking for $9.99 may well work but I'd not pay it if the number of adverts increase. What would be the point? These companies need to wake up to the fact that there are many people out there fed-up paying only to be fed adverts 5 minutes of adverts every 10 - 15 minutes.


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