Users of the online TV show site could be paying to see extra episodes as soon as late May
Hulu, 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
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.