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Hulu (Again) Considers Monthly Fee

Site might charge $5 per month for access to old episodes

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How much is the experience of watching certain old shows online worth to the average person?  Well, Hulu’s hoping the answer is "at least $5 per month."  A new report indicates that the site might try to charge a monthly fee for access to episodes that aired a while ago.

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Dawn C. Chmielewski and Alex Pham wrote this morning, "One plan being considered would allow users to view the five most recent episodes of TV shows free but would require a subscription of $4.99 a month to watch older episodes.  Hulu believes it will need at least 20 TV series – both current ones and those no longer on the air – to make such a pay service attractive to users."

From some perspectives, this wouldn’t be a bad deal.  With iTunes charging a couple of bucks per episode, Hulu would have an edge so long as a person was interested in more than one or two clips.  Also, it’s necessary to consider that buying DVD sets tends to cost a lot more than $5 per month.

Still, charging for something that used to be free is always risky.  And the five-episode window of free play, while nice, could act to increase the appeal of illegal videos, since it would give pirates plenty of time to get up episodes.

We’ll see what happens.  Hulu’s set no real timeframe with regards to implementing any sort of plan to increase revenue.

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Hulu (Again) Considers Monthly Fee
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  • http://www.bigfishmlm.com Brian Satterlee

    I would be willing to accept more commercials as part of the programming but I wouldn’t pay for additional content. I can tell you that if they charge for current episodes, I would no visit hulu.com. I get the shows on my DVR… the computer is just more available sometimes.

    Who would pay for old episodes of TV programs except maybe on DVD?

  • Guest

    didn’t they come out and say they weren’t going to charge for content after it was reported the new management we’re considering it?

    I like hulu but I won’t pay a dime for free content. Ads are totally fine and acceptable..

  • http://howilivefrugal.blogspot.com Andrew Serrano

    I would like to see them offer the option of subscribing to a paid service, but only if they keep the current ad-supported model in place. The paid model would provide the episode to users without any commercial messages, which may attract it’s own following. But those who don’t want to pay would still have access, as long as they are willing to sit through commercials.

  • Guest

    Rupert Murdoch is not in Hulu as a public service. He intends not only to make big money, but to CONTROL content. Profit and control are his motivations in his deal with Google News. Profit and control are his motivations in his activities on the Board of Directors at the Associated Press. Not to mention MySpace. He has put his tentacles in many places and is not starting to grab hold. Gonna be a bumpy ride. Big brother has an Australian accent.

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