Hulu Toys With Subscription Idea

Posted Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:00 PM PDT by Mike Attebery

The ever popular free television streaming service Hulu may not be so free in the future, according to NBC.

Marc Graboff of NBC Universal commented on the popular Hulu streaming service recently, stating that Hulu needed to find a way to turn things around. While Hulu is certainly increasing viewership across the board, the problem, according to Graboff, is that these added viewers aren’t translating into added dollars.

“Hulu has got to bolster its economics,” says Graboff. “The trick is ... to turn those digital pennies into digital dollars.” Just how they’ll do that is anyone’s guess. Graboff suggests that an increase in advertising would help, but just how much is difficult to say.

He also suggests that a subscription model could be in the future. Graboff sees Hulu staying free, with paid subscribers having earlier access to shows, rather than blocking out non paying viewers. "I do think Hulu is experimenting with different models," he said. "I know they're looking at any number of things.”

Not mentioned by Graboff is the possibility that Hulu could offer HD content at a premium, something that’s sorely lacking from the site.

Graboff still thinks highly of the site, and says that NBC’s investment was a step in the right direction, but says Hulu may have been hasty to offer content for free.

Source: Reuters

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Tags: NBC, Hulu, Industry Trends (all tags)