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Hulu pay version launch imminent

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Viewers are accustomed to watching Hulu, the service that shows network TV programs over the Internet, for free. But a version of Hulu that will charge viewers for access will launch as early as this week, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The popular online service, which ranks second to Google Inc.'s YouTube in terms of numbers of videos watched, has been under pressure from its media owners, News Corp., NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co., to find new sources of revenue. The companies recognize that more people want to watch TV shows and movies online -- but executives are loath to do so in a way that undercuts the lucrative cable contracts that underwrite the cost of producing expensive content. 

Hulu would charge slightly less than $10 a month to watch TV shows and movies with fewer ads than currently available on the free service and on television, according to one person familiar with the matter. The service would also be introduced on new devices, including Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 game consoles. 

The new service, dubbed Hulu Plus, has been expected for months, and prompted an outcry from some users who don't want to surrender their free online access to popular shows. Hulu has acknowledged change is coming.

"We've always been open to new business models which would complement our existing service," wrote one Hulu official on the company's blog in May. "The free, ad-supported business model is great, but there are many other content owners who have chosen and are successful with other models, subscription or otherwise. We want users to have access to the widest selection of premium video possible, and we'll continue to explore how to bring you more content in the best way possible."

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski and Meg James

Image: Hulu

 
Comments () | Archives (6)

WHAT? "$10 a month to watch TV shows and movies with fewer ads..." They want us to pay for FEWER ADS?! No way! If I pay, there's got to be NO ADS. I will go to the many free 'illegal' streaming-TV sites and see all the shows I want WITHOUT any ads at all. I was perfectly willing to pay- but you can't shove commercials at me if you get my dollars! Got that? I and my friends will see every one of your shows on the web, and YOU'RE the ones who drove us away through your greed. It wasn't enough to get my money...YOU HAD TO STILL INSERT COMMERCIALS, DIDN'T YOU? Well tooooooooo bad. You lose. I DON'T.

whats the point if you have cable

Hulu is going to charge for its content? No thanks.
I get my TV via Internet from a program at seetvpc [dot] com. Have used it for a couple years.

I like Hulu, but they either need to lower the monthly by about half or eliminate commercials altogether.

Commercials of the type and length that Hulu has are fine for a free service. I might even watch an extra one or two if the site remained free, but, if I'm paying, then I want it to be like Netflix -- no ads.

Hulu wants to siphon hundreds of $$'s out of our pockets for years to come. Stay away from this payment plan scheme.

That's called Netflix but with commercials and less inventory. Geez.... I guess I'll actually buy Netflix now.


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