The LA Times has another scoop on the fate of Hulu. It’s reporting that the hit online video service will start charging a fee by May 24.
Hulu’s an indicator of mainstream media’s thinking about free ad-supported content versus paid subscriptions.
Its free online broadcasts of current and archived TV shows also made it a factor for many people who decided to alter or dump cable service after Comcast’s digital conversion last year. Best of all, it provided a decent alternative delivery system for those who didn’t get certain shows after free, over-the-air signals went digital.
Now, Hulu’s apparently going to cost about the same as Netflix streaming or barebones cable service.
From the LAT’s Company Town blog, which is relying on “people with knowledge of the plans”:
Under the proposal, Hulu would continue to provide for free the five most recent episodes of shows like Fox’s “Glee,” “ABC’s “Lost” or NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” But viewers who want to see additional episodes would pay $9.95 a month to access a more comprehensive selection, called Hulu Plus, these people said.
Ads will continue to appear during Hulu shows, even after the fee is imposed. Sounds Comcastic.
The same blog broke the news in January that Hulu was considering a fee. Hulu is based in L.A. but its management team is loaded with veterans of Amazon.com and Microsoft.