Hulu to Test $9.95 Subscription Service
Hulu has become one of the go-to services for video streaming in recent years, but the TV industry has constantly been pressuring the site to monetize traffic with more than ad sales. Now Hulu is preparing to test a $9.95/month subscription service for its content.
The L.A. Times reports that the subscription testing could start as early as May 24.
Hulu is second only to YouTube for video streaming in the U.S., so the money-making potential for the site is significant. The company wants to add a subscription service to the site in exchange for offering more content to viewers.
Right now, Hulu displays the five most recent episodes of current shows for free, and even with the subscription service in place those five episodes will remain free. But for $9.95 per month viewers will also be able to previous episodes of a series.
The subscription service, called Hulu Plus, is supposed to have extensive archives of old episodes, however, some technology experts point out that there may not be enough content to make it worth a $10 monthly subscription for the average user. And while Hulu does feature some cable shows, it's unlikely that the struggling cable networks would allow wide access to their shows because it would essentially be undercutting their own subscriptions.
The subscription service will also likely play into the Hulu apps that have been mentioned for mobile platforms like Android smartphones and the iPad.
The pressures to make more money will likely force more changes in Hulu's methods. Many users prefer the fewer commercials that are displayed with Hulu shows, but the site is soon expected to up the number of commercials to those seen on broadcast television.