When the details of Hulu Plus were announced, many people were dismayed that the service still included advertisements. Now, Hulu's CEO has indicated that he'd be willing to do away with the ads - so long as enough customers are willing to pay more money.
Om Malik was able to talk to CEO Jason Kilar sometime yesterday, and in an article published today, Malik wrote, "When I asked Kilar to comment on the criticism being leveled at the company, he said that the company was comfortable with the idea of offering a higher-priced version if there is demand from customers."
And if that plan involving multiple tiers sounds a little overcomplicated considering the existence of free alternatives - and the simple fact that people can use commercials as an opportunity to check their email - there is sort of a precedent.
Malik wrote, "Kilar argued that in the premium content distribution business there is no one model. . . . He pointed to the old TV business as an example of how different business models exist. There are ad-supported broadcast networks, subscription only operations such as HBO and then there are hybrids like TNT and TBS that charge subscriptions and also air advertising on their channels."
So we'll see what happens. Hulu will likely let the situation stabilize for at least a few months before changing anything, but keep an eye out for surveys on the site asking your opinion about ads and/or bigger fees.