Hulu Considering Monthly Fee for Older Content

Posted Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 11:45 AM PST by Mike Attebery

If you want more than just the latest episodes on Hulu, you may have to shell out $5 monthly.

Hulu has, since its inception, been an excellent example of just what people seem to want from the internet. Free streaming ad-supported television is great for the end user, but unfortunately, it seems it’s not as good a deal for the company putting it out. They’re not making money, so they may be asking users to shell out for a subscription.

It’s not a lot of cash, but a $5 monthly fee is a steep increase over free. Under the proposed business model, the latest episodes of shows would still be free, but watching anything older would require a subscription. The subscription wouldn’t target all shows, but around twenty of their most popular shows, both current and off the air.

The move isn’t unexpected, but it’s a bit disappointing. While services like Pandora offer higher audio quality and commercial free programming to subscribers, Hulu is taking a different tact. However, if the five dollar monthly fee enabled them to maintain full back catalogs rather than the piecemeal episode selection available on some shows, it may be well worth it. With so many back episodes already available on Netflix though, Hulu could be hard pressed to make this business model worthwhile.

None of this is official of course, but insiders at Hulu say that we can expect to see a full business model and a fixed pricing structure hit in the next few months.

Source: LA Times

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