Hulu Plus: Premium Content, For A Price
Online TV Portal Hulu Offers Subscription Service
Since its public launch in March of 2008, Hulu has become one of the most popular sites on the Web. Designed as an innovative way to deliver TV and film content on demand, via professional video transfers streamed over the Internet to PCs and other web-connected devices, Hulu has helped steer millions of viewers away from illegal downloads by providing a free and easy way to watch TV online. A joint venture of NBC Universal, Fox (News Corp.), and ABC (Disney), Hulu has enjoyed the financial backing and moral support of the some of the biggest names in the business, all eager to curb video piracy and take advantage of Americans’ increasing tendency to look to the Internet, and not the TV, for entertainment.
Hulu’s advertising-based revenue model has been successful (the company expects to top $100 million in revenue by the end of the summer), but it just cannot generate the kind of revenue that its big-name content providers are used to receiving from more traditional outlets such as network television commercials, and licensing fees from cable and satellite companies. At an industry conference in October of last year, News Corporation Deputy Chairman Chase Carey said that Hulu “needs to evolve to have a meaningful subscription model as part of its business.”
After months of rumors, that subscription service is finally here. For $9.99 per month, Hulu Plus offers viewers a more comprehensive online TV and film portal, with more choices and premium content. Hulu’s free service will still be available on the website for anyone who wants to watch a professional video transfer of the most recent episodes of hit shows like “Glee” or “House.” But if you want to watch the entire season from the beginning, a Hulu Plus subscription gives you the freedom to watch archived episodes and even whole series that are not available as part of Hulu’s free service.
Hulu has already developed applications what will allow subscribers to watch their premium content on a variety of devices, include Apple’s iPhone and iPad, Sony’s Playstation 3, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. For more information, visit http://www.hulu.com/plus.