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Users of the online TV show site could be paying to see extra episodes as soon as late MayHulu, the streaming video site for television shows and movies from NBC, Fox, ABC, and other networks, could be implementing a subscription service as early as May 24, according to the latest report.
Users would still be able to watch the five most recent episodes of their favorite shows, but beyond that one would have to pay $9.95/month to access Hulu Plus, which would include the full archive of episodes available. Although, we can easily imagine Hulu offering multiple tiers of subscription fees, with more expensive options offering access even further into the back catalog of seasons than a less expensive option might.
At the moment, the major networks support Hulu through 30-second advertising spots that automatically play where a TV viewer would normally expect a few minutes of commercial break. That means some of the most popular shows currently airing on television--Fox's "Glee," "ABC's "Lost," NBC's "Saturday Night Live"--are available to users online pretty much for free.
Nobody imagined that the free model would be maintained forever, though.
TV is very much so (perhaps more than ever) a high-production deal, and the major networks are scrambling to ensure they can still generate considerable revenue in a world where more and more consumers are going online. So far, however, it appears that TV content providers are seeing greater success than their counterparts in the music or print industry. This new subscription plan, if implemented smoothly, could be huge for the TV industry online.
In other Hulu news, leaked information related to an upcoming Dell phone also included details about a full-featured Hulu video app that could potentially come integrated seamlessly with the Android device.
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