So Back in October we let you know that Hulu was looking for ways to charge users for the service. Then a lot of people got up in arms, swearing to drop Hulu like a bad habit. So then The Hulu execs recounted the statement, saying all was well and their service would remain free.
However, I didn’t believe that and neither did many of you. After all, who gives anything away for free these days? Well, The LA Times says we were right to be skeptical, because Hulu is apparently still working on a ways to implement a fee-based service without losing users.
The latest scheme game plan involves taking Hulu’s current interface – where you can watch 3-5 of the most recent episodes of your favorite shows like 30 Rock or It’s Always Sunny - and molding that model into one that requires users to pay a subscription fee to watch older episodes of those aforementioned shows. A subscription fee would reportedly run you $4.99 a month, and a fee-based model could be announced within the next six months.
The LA Times article goes on to talk about how Hulu is but one of many media companies trying to adapt to the new ways in which users view media. Pandora, Netflix and The New York Times are all examples of companies that have found various ways to charge users for online media content. Pandora and The Times have systems in place where users can access a certain amount of content per month before having to pay; Netflix has gained many new subscribers by offering a whole catalog of movies on demand that can be watched on televisions, computers or gaming consoles like the Xbox 360.
The Netflix free streaming interface on Xbox 360
Which kind of model Hulu ultimately uses remains to be seen – though I don’t know if charging users to view old episodes of TV shows is going to be the cash cow they’re hoping for. There are definitely ways to transform Hulu into something people will pay for, and if you want to know how, go HERE.
So, what do you think – not just about this Hulu business, but in regards to online media becoming a pay-to-play industry? Is it inevitable? Is it necessary? Or is it just another greedy scheme, in your opinion? Let us know.
As always, we’ll keep you updated on what happens with Hulu.
Source: The LA Times