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Hulu May Begin Charging For Video Content

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the might-even-pay-for-more-southland dept.

Television 313

An anonymous reader writes "According to Jonathan Miller, News Corp's CDO, Hulu may soon begin charging subscription fees for some of their online content. News Corp is the parent company of Fox, which owns a huge portion of Hulu. When Miller of Newscorp was asked if Hulu would begin charging for online content during an Interview with Daily Finance, he said that 'the answer could be yes.' He went on to say that he doesn't 'see why over time that shouldn't happen.'"

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313 comments

Still not available (5, Insightful)

Jeruvy (1045694) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212581)

Since we still can't watch Hulu in Canada, I won't be paying anything. It's probably cheaper than cable anyways.

Re:Still not available (5, Interesting)

princessproton (1362559) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212745)

My initial reaction was to buck against this, but on second thought (and depending on how it's implemented) maybe it wouldn't be that bad. The thing I hate about cable is that there is no "a la carte" option where I can selectively pay for the channels I actually want and not have to pay for the other 90% of the programming that comes in the packages. Depending on how they swing this, if they offer cable-based content as individual subscriptions at prices that are cumulatively less than my current cable bill, it may actually be a better option for me and allow me to cancel cable altogether.

Re:Still not available (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213075)

Agreed. Why do I have to pay for four separate "shopping channels" that are nothing but end to end commercials? I hate golf, but I have to pay for the golf channel. And the Disney channel. And Lifetime. And BET. Hell, if it wasn't for Mythbusters I wouldn't even watch the Discovery channel.

If my $30/month payment was divided between the channels I do watch, I'd pay less than five bucks a month. Whay do I have to subsidize golfers and parents of little kids and housewives? Whay would a single man want FAM? I'm just glad I can program my TV to skip these channels when I surf. I wish I didn't have to pay for them!

Re:Still not available (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28213197)

+----------+
| SLASHDOT |
|  SUCKS   |
|   ASS    |
+----------+
    |  |
    |  |
  .\|.||/..

Re:Still not available (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28213369)

+-------------------+
|I can do a sign too|
|It isn't difficult |
\ Nor is it clever /
+----------------+
       |  |
       |  |
     .\|.||/..

Re:Still not available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28213281)

First - Shopping channels are money-makers, not costs. The cable company is paid to carry them, so having them is cheaper than not.

Second - FAM can have some good shows - not many, but some. Kyle XY for example - my wife and I are dedicated geeks and childless, and decided to watch it anyway. It was good, though sappy.

Third - you can have your ala-carte channels, but pay $20 a month for Scifi, another $10 for Discovery, and let's not get started on the LOGO channel.

Assume they pay a flat fee to access the channel. They must then distribute this access fee to the people that pay for that channel - so for example Scifi might cost 300k a year and be watched by say 15000 people willing to pay for it [I know I wouldn't, last Scifi show I watched was Dresden Files.] - for $20 a month.

Re:Still not available (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213377)

You really think you are paying for the shopping channels? Really?

Really?!

Re:Still not available (1)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213389)

I'd pay. I use netflix and hulu to watch the shows I would watch if I had a cable/satellite. The reason I don't have cable or satellite is because I have to pay a flat fee instead of a useage fee - and I watched very little TV and it wasn't worth it. Don't confuse this with my refusal to pay a useage fee vs. flat fee for internet; I am a hypochrite and I know it.

Re:Still not available (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213195)

...if they offer cable-based content as individual subscriptions at prices that are cumulatively less than my current cable bill, it may actually be a better option...

Yeah, but that's a pretty big if, unless you really don't watch much TV. Especially in the long run. The networks producing the shows want to make as much money as they are now, and while they might let the pricing be low in the early days, sooner or later the margin is going to go up. Shows are $2-3 on iTunes, and you can pretty much guarantee that's what these guys will be looking at before too long, and it'll only go in one direction after that.

Re:Still not available (3, Interesting)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213255)

I'm already paying NBC Universal News Corp for access to their content in my Comcast Cable bill. Why should I have to pay for their content twice?

A la cart is an awesome and great goal, but paying for the full swath and then paying extra for a la cart on top of the combo sucks.

Re:Still not available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28213299)

What does this have to do with the post you're replying to? Nice FPW!

Re:Still not available (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212855)

Neither do they show anything here in Europe. Oh well, I would actually liked to pay for such service, as I'm already paying here for similar ones but which more like let you download .ts etc recorded from tv (just to note, legally). However I dont really want to wait to watch the shows I like, so I have to get them otherwise. I do like the easy of things however, and with gaming Steam has done great job. Same for spotify here in europe with music streaming (its actually better than you even have in usa). But I hope tv stations etc also see the opportunity with providing such service worldwide, because I would gladly pay for it.

Re:Still not available (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213083)

Part of the problem is that there isn't that much stuff on Hulu worth paying for. I spent some time looking for stuff on Hulu. Simpsons, check. Family Guy, check, South Park (links back to the southpark.com website). Okay, so they have recent cartoons. Lets look for some more mainstream stuff. Dr. Who? They have clips, but no full episodes I could find. Okay, how about something older? Flying Circus? Just Clips. Faulty Towers? 9/11 stuff (which was a beautiful irony). If they want me to pay for their service, they need to have old stuff as well as new stuff. I'm sure they probably have the Heroes/Lost/whathaveyou, but last time I checked, I can get that free over the air, so where is the benefit?

Re:Still not available (1, Troll)

zlogic (892404) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213111)

Perhaps they could allow you to pay instead or watching the ads. The reason Hulu works only in US is because its advertisers don't want to subsidize the videos watched in another country where the person who watched it won't be able to buy the advertised product.

Re:Still not available (1)

PrinceAshitaka (562972) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213177)

This is a good thing, maybe I can watch Hulu programs in Europe soon. ( yes I have a work-around for the region problem). I will pay for content I want to see. (I don't pay for cable as I don't want to see most of that content. (see the others' al à carte option posts)

Worst Source Ever (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212591)

It came from words spoken at Hollywood Reporter's Internet Week [hollywoodreporter.com] (which seems to be the origin of this report). And from Jeff Bercovici at Daily Finance [dailyfinance.com] who reoprts that Jonathan Miller, Chief Digital Officer of News Corp said:

I think what works for consumers most likely -- and this has to be tested, frankly -- is bundles. I think you have to figure out what are the right bundles that people buy and what's contained in that bundle. For example, you could have -- and I'm making this up entirely -- you could have a New York bundle, and that could consist of various papers or publications that are relevant to the audience in New York, and you could make that all, potentially, a bundle to a consumer at one price.

For what it's worth, he also made this statement:

I went from paying $14 to The Wall Street Journal to paying $10 to Amazon. Now the splits there, and I think this is relatively well known, are very, very much in favor of Amazon. So I became very much less valuable to The Wall Street Journal. That's part one. Part two is they don't know I exist. I went from being someone who's their subscriber to being someone who is an Amazon subscriber, which The Wall Street Journal has no visibility back to and cannot manage that customer relationship. . . . So they've lost both the customer management and, trust me, the lion's share of the economics.

You know I hate to be voice of calm reason, folks but this is all the original source reported:

Asked specifically about the future of online video joint venture Hulu, which is currently advertising-supported, he said it "is an environment for premium content." Pointing to the popularity of iPhone applications, he added: "We're seeing the beginning of a very strong app economy."

From there, you can trace a very hilarious wave of the telephone game from blog to blog of people slowly blowing it out of proportion as it's put together that this guy is talking about paid subscriptions and he's in charge of Hulu therefore Hulu must be becoming a paid subscription service.

Re:Worst Source Ever (4, Funny)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212681)

Don't expect anyone to actually read this (as evidence by the half dozen or more posts already railing against this phoney news story).

Re:Worst Source Ever (1)

Povno (1460131) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212961)

Your information is very much appreciated. I would have modded you up but I spent my last this morning. Too bad... this was far more deserving.

Re:Worst Source Ever (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28213173)

Your information is very much appreciated. I would have modded you up but I spent my last this morning. Too bad... this was far more deserving.

Maybe you wasted your mod points on people who posted the word NIGGERS! Just like another mod is about to do with me. Yay!

I wonder if they will appreciate the irony when they mod me down.

Re:Worst Source Ever (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213031)

I know I'm quoting your quote, but "I went from paying $14 to The Wall Street Journal to paying $10 to Amazon. Now the splits there, and I think this is relatively well known, are very, very much in favor of Amazon." - I'm reasonably sure the profit based on digital distribution is equal or higher than printing on paper and then distributing it. You never end up with unsold copies at the end of the day.

Re:Worst Source Ever (4, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213043)

So you're confirming that we'll have to pay for hulu, even if we don't use it?

Re:Worst Source Ever (1)

TurboNed (1370389) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213203)

I'd give a +funny (at least...I'm 75% sure you're trying to be funny), but I spent my mod points this morning.

Re:Worst Source Ever (3, Funny)

Rycross (836649) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213143)

Great, just great. Now what am I supposed to do with all these torches and pitchforks!? Ass.

Over time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212605)

Then I see myself watching Hulu less and less

Re:Over time (2, Interesting)

SlashDotDotDot (1356809) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212947)

Then I see myself watching Hulu less and less

Really? If having paying customers allows them to post a better range of content, I'm all for it, especially if there is little to no advertising in the paid content.

My biggest frustration with Hulu today is that they don't have the full archive of shows that I'd like to watch. Since I don't want to start a new show in the middle, I have to find the earlier episodes elsewhere or wait for the DVD. I'd gladly pay, say, $15/month if it meant access to the whole archive of every show they have.

The long-term future of TV includes on demand access to whatever the consumer wants. Making content is expensive and risky and therefore must be compensated. Providing on demand access cuts into other revenue sources, like DVD sales, and therefore must be compensated.

Re:Over time (4, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213159)

My biggest frustration with Hulu today is their use of horrendously inefficient and technically inferior player implementations.

Adobe Flash Player is a resource hog - I've had issues with 720p video playing smoothly even on a Core 2 Quad with a GeForce 9800GT under Linux.

The same video plays smoothly on my old Athlon XP 2800+ with a GeForce 7800GS if I use rtmpdump on a CBS high def stream and then play it back with mplayer. (Not an available option for Hulu.)

If they used a player that were:
1) As cross-platform as the existing solution (MacOS, Linux, Windows - this kills Silverlight for which Linux support typically lags at least one full version behind on)
2) Played back 720p video smoothly on my old Athlon XP 2800+ and 480p video smoothly on my Asus Eee 1000HE.

I would consider a subscription if reasonably priced and ads were removed. I would NOT consider pay-per-view.

Re:Over time (2, Interesting)

Happler (895924) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213267)

Then I see myself watching Hulu less and less

Really? If having paying customers allows them to post a better range of content, I'm all for it, especially if there is little to no advertising in the paid content.

After all, cable, which only has paying customers, has been so good about having little to no advertising, even for the "premium" channels that cost even more to get.

Surprised? (1, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212621)

Is anyone seriously surprised? Did anyone really think they were going to give away their content for free forever? Of course they were giving it away free initially to generate interest and then later going to tack on a price tag...

Re:Surprised? (3, Insightful)

Enuratique (993250) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212691)

The first hit's always free...

Re:Surprised? (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212767)

The first hit's always free...

it's a great business model if you can afford front the startup costs without any initial customers. Attracts a lot more initial customers because you get a lot of people that normally would not pay for your service, but once they've had a sample of it they change their mind. Of course you'll lose a bunch of people when you switch to pay, but the only hit you'll take on that is what you've already fronted them with so it doesn't come as a surprise or a bad hit you didn't see coming or couldn't calculate/prepare for.

Re:Surprised? (4, Informative)

ecolossal (209626) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212723)

Well- they don't exactly "give away their content for free forever" .

Commercials are interspersed throughout every movie and show. Also, for most shows, they only make a handful of episodes available at a time.

Re:Surprised? (5, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212759)

Well I think ultimately the issue is this: Everyone sees the writing on the wall. TV shows and movies are going to have to be offered available online, or else people will get it through pirate channels. So the movie studios and everyone are starting to reluctantly jump on board, but they don't have the business model all worked out.

So can they make enough money from advertisements? Can they make enough money from subscriptions, or a la carte sales? Can they work out some kind of combination, or will consumers balk at the idea of paying for a subscription and still watching ads? People already do that with cable (pay for it and still watch tons of ads), so it's not unthinkable.

iTunes is doing the a la carte sales, Hulu is doing ads. If someone else isn't doing subscriptions, someone will probably try it soon.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213161)

iTunes is doing the a la carte sales, Hulu is doing ads. If someone else isn't doing subscriptions, someone will probably try it soon.

There's a slight difference here: iTunes is mostly selling songs, which people generally listen to over and over and over. Hulu shows TV shows, which people generally only watch once and rarely ever again. People have always paid for music, first on vinyl (actually on Edison cylinders before that), later on CDs, and now in downloadable digital form. But for TV, people have always watched it for free, first over-the-air, and later on cable (the fee there is for access to the network, not the programming itself; just like the internet where you pay your ISP a monthly fee for access to the internet).

If these companies think they're going to the way things have been done over a half-century, I think they're in for a rude awakening.

Re:Surprised? (5, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212837)

Did anyone really think they were going to give away their content for free forever?

What, you mean like broadcast television?

Re:Surprised? (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212903)

Did anyone really think they were going to give away their content for free forever?

What, you mean like broadcast television?

On top of that it WASN'T free. There were advertisements which helped pay for it, and I was happy to view just to support them. You couldn't save the content to your hard drive directly from the site. I'm sure there are ways, though.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213085)

Over-the-air TV has been giving away their content for free for at least 6 decades now, by allowing advertisers to pay for it. They're still doing that.

Lots of companies have been giving away content for free on the internet, using the same model, for over a decade now.

Now, all of a sudden, some companies want to start charging consumers directly for this content. I think they're going to have a rude wake-up call when very few people bother to subscribe. There's so much stuff available for free that I'm certainly not going to miss the stuff that's not.

Re:Surprised? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213095)

Did anyone really think they were going to give away their content for free forever?

I see no reason why not. I give my content away for free, so do people who are actually read, like Lessig and Doctorow, whose novels are free online but yet he still manages to make the NYT best sellers list.

Oh, Murdoch... no, you shouldn't expect someone who worships money to give anything away for free. A greedhead would rather make $100 and not give anything away than make 1,000 giving it away.

"The love of money is the root of all evil".

Alt title: How to kill an extraordinary service (5, Insightful)

ecolossal (209626) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212627)

Do they feel the need to add a subscription fee when they already show commercials....? Isn't that what drives dissatisfaction with cable?

Really? (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212631)

I was wondering when it was going to happen. The commercials were not terribly long, and many of them were simply blank.
The whole thing did not seem like a viable business venture, except in the very rare case where you wanted to buy a DVD
of a show. I don't know about you, but why would I want to do that ?

real headline should be... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212633)

real headline should be "Hulu expects viewership to drop off significantly."

Not Smart (4, Insightful)

shma (863063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212635)

If they charge for on demand content, then people will just go back to downloading it for free.

Re:Not Smart (3, Insightful)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212779)

Exactamundo. I download a lot of TV shows, and recently, I'd taken to watching available programming on Hulu. No skin off my back to go back to Bittorrent.

Just like a drug dealer (2, Insightful)

MikeV (7307) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212637)

Get them hooked with freebies - then hit them in the wallet.

Re:Just like a drug dealer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212823)

Doesn't that only work when you're the only dealer in the area, or you can beat the mark up if they go to another dealer?

Methinks Hulu has completely forgotten about the "alternative" sources for all their content. This step will fail them.

Here we go again? (1)

ITJC68 (1370229) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212643)

Another company who isn't satisfied with the revenue stream from ads now wants to charge for content. Sorry. Not interested. I can watch my cable TV that I already pay for and if I want get a DVR and record my shows and watch them when I want!!! WOW what an idea!!! No I don't work for the cable company or a satellite TV company. I haven't been to their site but my kids have. Not worth the subscription unless it was like 2 or 3 bucks a year. 10 bucks a month can be spent more wisely in other areas.

Why not? (4, Insightful)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212653)

He went on to say that he doesn't 'see why over time that shouldn't happen.'"

Fine, but it's either subscription or ads. You don't get to do both.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212859)

Fine, but it's either subscription or ads. You don't get to do both.

I'd like to live were you do! Cable and satellite services have been doing both for decades, increasing pricing well and truly beyond inflation rates, and yet we still subscribe and watch the adverts.

...wavy screen...
Mid 80s, along comes sat' service, 5 UKP for the basic line on, 10 for the works, that's movies and sports.
...\wavy screen...
2009, basic package 40UKP, no sports, no movies, 20 minutes of ads per hour. Add another 30-50UKP to add back the sports etc.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212917)

Why not? Cable TV sure does.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212941)

Not likely. If history is an indicator, it will be both ads and service charges. Mr. Big Cheese needs another penthouse condo.

Re:Why not? (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212953)

Fine, but it's either subscription or ads. You don't get to do both.

Why not? Why shouldn't ads subsidize some of the content so that subscription fees are manageable?

It doesn't have to be an either/or situation.

Why not offer ad-free content to "gold" subscribers, limited ads to "silver" subscribers, and normal ad levels to "brown" (free) subscribers.

Then everybody wins, since it's the choice of the subscriber.

I know that the magazine-subscription model is very different, largely due to the cost of producing and distributing a magazine, and the difficulty of publishing different versions... but at a broader scale, this is what we have. Ad-heavy magazines with low subscription prices, ad-light magazines with high subscription prices. And, of course, the expensive mags with lots of advertising, where the advertising is considered part of the content (fashion mags especially).

Re:Why not? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213339)

Then everybody wins, since it's the choice of the subscriber.

If you were dealing with people who believed in and celebrated choice, they wouldn't be trying so hard to make Hulu just like TV. Instead, they'd show us the availability and selection that modern information technology can offer. They'd also make an effort to prove that a legitimate site can offer compelling reasons to appreciate their content that you won't find on BitTorrent.

Re:Why not? (1)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213175)

Fine, but it's either subscription or ads. You don't get to do both.

Why not? It worked for the newspaper industry for hundreds of years. The newspapers that still produce content instead of reprinting AP articles (like the WSJ, etc) will continue to do this for a long time. Shouting "nuh-uh, one or the other" with no justification is petty whinging.

If they start charging, however, they will need ensure that customers can easily watch shows using a couch, remote, and TV, since that is still a popular way to watch the content. No randomly breaking Slingbox support, etc.

...options (1)

Malk-a-mite (134774) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212677)

And this will move people to other services like Fancast.com which also does commercials but less often and on my system at least without the insane jump in volume.

Can't use it... (3, Informative)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212685)

Many of us outside the US can't use Hulu anyway; so it doesn't matter ;-)

Re:Can't use it... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28213027)

You're right. If you're outside the US you don't matter.

Re:Can't use it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28213259)

Which is stupid, because they could inject their ads into the stream for international users too. Of course, the ads wouldn't be precisely targeted for those who live outside the US, but, for example, a Toyota ad would increase brand recognition no matter where the viewer lives.

FOX is EVIIILLLLLL! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212701)

I guess that is what you shout when you have an useless article with so little information.

I thought fox's HUGE ownership position was exactly the same as the other partners, NBC and ABC.

If it's true then Hulu's future is easy to predict (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212703)

The day they start charging for content is the day they start down the path of constantly losing visitors until they become another clueless Web 2.0 failure.

When it comes to media on the internet, customers always have the option of getting a particular show, movie, song, etc. for free. When a site charges for content, the customer then sees himself as having two options: pay for an item or go somewhere else to get the same item for free. Pretty obvious choice, isn't it? I don't know why it's so hard for some content providers to grasp.

Sound familiar? (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212713)

Slashdot has paid subscription and I don't see people throwing hiss fits here. I'd see nothing wrong with a pay-to-remove-the-ads service (assuming they don't double up on the ads just to annoy people into paying.) What if they charge so you can stream movies still at the theatre? There are a lot of reasons pay content might not be a bad thing. It all depends on how they go about doing it.

Re:Sound familiar? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213235)

And how many Slashdotters actually subscribe?

Slashdot isn't exactly a huge money-making venture anyway, and to my knowledge doesn't have many employees, nor any public shareholders to satisfy with ever-increasing growth. Between the ads and the few subscribers, it probably doesn't take much for Slashdot to keep going. This is a little different from Hulu, which is owned by FOX, a large publicly-owned corporation.

Oblig. Star Wars Quote (1)

neochubbz (937091) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212729)

I sense a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly driven back to piracy.

Re:Oblig. Star Wars Quote (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213323)

I sense a different, though great, disturbance in the Force. I sense millions of voices crying out in laughter, as they turn back to piracy.

Re:Oblig. Star Wars Quote (1)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213357)

I sense a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly driven back to piracy.

iTunes is doing just fine with all of its for-pay content available via piracy. Netflix does fine with its subscription model.

The only thing they need to do is make hulu-for-pay easier/faster/more reliable than piracy. They have, for the most part, already accomplished that. As long as they don't break that simplicity with the fee structure, they are going to do just fine. They will, however, need to not break things like Slingbox if their users are watching hulu through it.

For the American market, that means a flat monthly fee, independent of usage. Americans in general resent being nickeled and dimed, and will typically pay more in flat rates so they don't have to meter their usage.

Reason for free? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212747)

He went on to say that he doesn't 'see why over time that shouldn't happen.'

To keep their users? *shrug*

Sometimes I think the ad model works better here. There are so many other free sources for video these days, especially online-based. :-p

Bizarre tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212749)

What's with the "republicans" tag? I don't see any obvious political connection.

So what? The internet will do... (1)

kclittle (625128) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212771)

... what it was always designed to do, though admittedly at a higher, more general level than originally envisioned: It will route around the blockage.

-k

We are going back on the main ad point (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212791)

I can't say I didn't expect this because I did. NewsCorp pretty much monopolized the cable television network market. Hulu better come up for a new advertising pitch however since their main draw on all of those commercials was the whole it's free thing.

I'd welcome it...but (3, Interesting)

codeonezero (540302) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212817)

I really don't have a problem with a subscription model. It would be great if they kept a lot of the stuff they have now, and say let me pay a subscription to watch episodes of The Office and other shows I watch on the same day they are released on live TV. Or let me subscribe and let me watch every episode of The Office, American Dad, or Family Guy whenever I want while keeping the 10 or so episodes they currently do available for free.

Also if the subscription meant the option to watch a full series without commercial interruption that would be great too.

I have to admit the only reason I downloaded a few Stargate episodes was because I didn't have a TV set I could watch it on. If instead I had the option to pay a minimal monthly fee and pick and choose the shows I wanted to watch with the plus of seeing the show the day it aired, I would have had zero desire to download anything. As it was, a few times I downloaded something, there were no sound or special effects added in, and many times I opted to just buy the video off iTunes, due to the quality of the content. A subscription fee on the range of $10-$15 month would be nice. Anything more, good luck with that Hulu, I'd rather just buy DVDs and episodes of iTunes.

Save the animals (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212841)

I have been asked to click on this site [theanimalrescuesite.com] by my boss to help save animals. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Re:Save the animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212973)

Why don't you just write a python script to do this for you, instead of bothering us all with a request that a computer could do much faster and for a much longer period of time. You could easily generate 100k clicks or more using a script.

Re:Save the animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28213229)

Save the animals for my dinner.

Bastards (3, Interesting)

Niris (1443675) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212897)

The whole reason I even watch Hulu is because I don't want to deal with getting the digital converter box when the change happens, and it's cool being able to watch things when you want to. Having to pay for Hulu just ruins the entire great idea of it being like DTV with the normal free channels. Hell, I'd even be cool with more commercials in their shows to keep it free for me. Plus I can watch all the Firefly episodes on there. That's just awesome .

Bye Hulu! (2, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212905)

People watched you because you were free. You were a simple way to watch a show someone had missed that maybe the Tivo didn't record due to electrical storm. Once you start charging, you lose your viewership. No viewership? No ad revenue. No viewership? No subscription revenue. And no, you're not Too Big To Fail (TM), so no bailout revenue either.

Too bad. You spent all that money on TV and movie ads about evil alien plots to get eyes on your site, just to screw it all up.

Re:Bye Hulu! (2, Insightful)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28212949)

Except this just an article about a rumor of them charging subscriptions. Nowhere are there actual plans for Hulu to charge anything now or any time in the future. It's amazing how easily people fall for these FUD spreading articles based entirely on second-hand rumors.

lol! it's happening again! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28212979)

as soon as you mention money the entire slashdont community goes into a frenzy.

cheap is as cheap does. good luck with that second rate operating system boys.

And when it fails, they'll blame piracy (1)

sircastor (1051070) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213017)

I admit that when I heard about Hulu, I was skeptical. Very skeptical. I also thought it was a bad idea, I thought it would never fly. I was wrong. I watched my first episodes of Firefly on Hulu. My wife and I use Hulu daily for our television. We don't own a television that we use and we don't particularly care. We liked Hulu... when we're watching actual television we're appalled at the number of ads we have to sit through. Anyway, I see this (surprise) as a bad move for Hulu. They've got a good gig going. My suspicion (with evidence to back me up) is that Hulu was doing fine the way it was going, that it was not taking away viewers from television, and that it was overall a productive means of legally watching content online. Hulu will curl up and die if people have to shell out for it. Might as well start buying the shows you care about on Amazon or iTunes.

Maybe they will then change their stupid policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28213133)

"This video is not available in your country"

If video are associated with a price maybe they will start considering offering their video to more than the small US market...

OK, now people, DO NOT PAY and it will pass... (5, Insightful)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213223)

Seriously I try to get this through people's heads all the time... for geeks we sure can be dumb. It is and has been free. If everyone ignores the service if/when it goes pay or even if only parts go pay only IGNORE them, also make it known you are NOT going to pay for the content... ads are enough to deal with for the content. Then Hulu (which is already successful) will find alternate avenues for revenue. If everyone just jumps in right off the bat you have instantly ensured all future video services like this will be pay-only. Wake up! Please.

Is Slashdot Slow With Web 2.0? +1, True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28213225)

because this will surely lead to its demise ( +4, PlusVeryExcellent).

Yours Seditiously,
Kilgore Trout

Cable? (3, Insightful)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213239)

I have one of these already. It's called "cable." You pay a monthly fee and you get to watch a bunch of different channels with lots of different content. The only difference I can tell between a paid Hulu and cable is that Hulu is only "on demand," has less content, and wants to be PC-only. So, basically, Hulu will be the crappy version of cable.

I'll pay for Hulu if... (2, Interesting)

HertzaHaeon (1164143) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213295)

I'll gladly pay for a service like Hulu if I can watch it from outside the US. No silly "this video isn't available in your region". Just show the damn thing and take my money. Preferably, there's a choice between a small fee per episode or a subcription model.

But I expect they won't do that. So in effect, they don't want my money, they like to trouble me online and would rather see me download tv series.

Oh yeah? (1)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213311)

Well fuck them, then. I could just download the shows off BitTorrent and get higher quality, and less ads, all for the whopping price of $0.

I wouldn't pay for streaming... (4, Interesting)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 4 years ago | (#28213349)

For a download based service, sure, I can see that. But streaming sucks, more so on video. Unless connections get a whole lot better, I'm not the least bit interested in streaming. With downloads, I can do HD, no problems. About 1GB per hour at the standard illegal sources last time I checked. It doesn't take a whole lot to screw up a stream with those sorts of bandwith requirements. Downloads just go a little slower for a bit. Unencrypted, 720p or 1080p, h264 video (3Mbit/sec minimum, probably about 6Mbit/sec for 1080p), AC3 audio, MKV container preferred.

Sell me that, with a fast server to download from and an RSS feed I can automate the process from, for a reasonable price, and I *WILL* buy. Reasonable price would be about half what the season goes for on Blu-Ray. I'm not getting media, packaging, shipping, etc., so I won't pay for it either. And if I'm paying, it must be ad-free. If I'm not paying, or getting a significant discount, ads would be acceptable. I personally wouldn't take any more than about 5min/hour of ads though. If I'm paying, it must also include re-download rights. Perhaps restricted to off-peak, or with a small fee for using up said capacity, but a very small fraction of the original purchase price. I would also require that the episodes be made available by midnight of the original air date. If they want to compete with PirateBay and friends, they have to provide all of the above. People will pay for the convenience, quality, and knowing they are legal. Cause paying customers issues, and they will go elsewhere, or just not bother. The studios have the ability to take the online market by storm and keep it. They just have to step up. Not that they will.

Streaming crap quality with encryption... Not interested.

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