Hulu may charge for content in the future

People love Hulu for providing full episodes to TV shows and movies for free. Recently, Disney struck a deal with Hulu, and the company has also struck an international TV deal as well. They have also released desktop software, allowing the user to enjoy Hulu content outside the site itself... but it looks like you may have to start paying for Hulu's content soon.

According to Daily Finance, Jonathan Miller, News Corp.'s chief digital officer, said when asked about a subscription based Hulu "in my opinion the answer could be yes. I don't see why over time that shouldn't happen. I don't think it's on the agenda for Monday [but] it seems to me that over time that could be a logical thing." News Corp, a parent of Fox, owns a sizable portion of Hulu, along with NBC Universal and Disney.

Unfortunately, Miller's boss, Rupert Murdoch, is not in favor of putting content on the Web for free. Although he's been focusing more on news content, rather than Hulu.

If Hulu does start charging for content, no one knows if the entire site will become subscription based or just limited to certain shows and movies.

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28 Comments

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I agree that if hulu does start charging, they lose their competitve edge. I know its hard to have a free ad based model, but if they did charge, what would differentiate them from iTunes? Why would anyone switch to hulu when their current fee based service works just fine. The one thing I dont understand is, why dont they have more ads? I mean, trust me, if it was the difference between paying and watching ads, I would watch ads any day. But hulu only has one or two ads per show and they are the same ad throughout. They should at least TRY to make the ads a little more interesting. They really have something. Something that could revolutionize the way we watch TV. But they lack innovation.

Hulu knows that have to be very very careful about making their website a pay service. The reason Hulu is so popular right now is because it's ad-based free service. You start making people pay...and you will lose about 70% of your audience..and I'm being completely serious about that percentage.

People come to the internet for free information. If people want to pay for a TV show..they might as well just buy a TIVO and record the show...Hulu is dreaming if they think people will actually pay to watch a TV show on their computer using a--

choppy/unreliable/possible computer crashing/possible computer lockup/software conflicting/software not converting internet stream.

I won't pay extra for hulu.com in it's current form. I might be willing to pay something like $5 if they launched a higher quality mode or HD and no commercials. If they left hulu.com alone in it's current form and made hulu desktop with HD and no commercials, i would be willing to go along with that.

All depends on how they do it. If they blow it, i am off to alternate means. I can get my shows in HD online via other methods free. They will really have to make it worth my time.

Wonder what'll happen if they bring it to Canada and how the CRTC will act.
Personally I would pay for this kind of service than Rogers/Bell TV, I'm fed up with Canadian broadcasters and the lame shows they have. I heart NBC, FOX and ABC network, that's the main ch's I watch here and it cost me $30/mth!!!!!! Pfft!

It would probably be profitable if they made available US programming to other countries that can't otherwise get it. They'd be bringing in money to the US instead of just moving it around.

Sounds more like an ad-free/HD push than some insidious plan to charge for what is now free. No one should have a problem with them offering bonus features for a subscriber base as long as it isn't at the expense of the free users.

Or rather...

We all know how free users react anyways: take away the free part and you kill your traffic as they simply go to one of the many many other places to get free media. The popularity of Hulu hinges on it being free and convenient and removing either will drive the userbase elsewhere.

hulu doesn't run well for me, the desktop or the site versions. the video skips here and there. I never have issues playing video on my computer, even 1080p stuff runs smooth always.

I seriously hope they keep it free. It's just not fair to end user, and will drive them to alternative sites instead.

Hulu is technically not free fright now. The ad's are paying for it. This really makes no sense. Quality sucks too. Netflix at least doesn't jump around quite so bad.

technically it's free for the viewer to watch....

Well wait.. no technically it's not free, unless your computer was free, and internet was free, and electricity is free...

So.. your right, sorry.

Then it be just like netflix instant que, the *free* was the big attraction.
Not only that, if you pay to view, will you then have to suffer through occasional commercial?

soonerproud said,
Can you guys even watch it with those flappy heads and beady eyes? :P

we can watch AND fart!

That would kinda blow, unless it's a model where subscribing just removes commercials, but I don't know why anyone would buy into that, as the ads they show are really no big deal and don't take up much time. We'll see how this turns out.