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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 29, 2010 at 12:24 PM

More on Hulu Plus — what about discounts, Xbox, free stuff?

Now that the hit online video site Hulu has finally announced its $10-per-month pay service, there are a few more questions about what’s next.

For instance, will Hulu Plus be discounted or free if you get it through a pay service like Xbox Live or the premium PlayStation Network?

When I asked the company, I was told that no discounts are planned at the moment, but Hulu is working with device companies to come up with “innovative marketing plans” that may result in discounts for some users.

Hulu Plus is coming “soon” to the PlayStation and in early 2011 on the Xbox 360.

If Sony can afford the subsidy, it seems natural for it to provide Hulu Plus for free, a discount or a free trial period to subscribers of its new $50 per year PlayStation Network Plus service.

I’ve asked Sony about this but haven’t heard back. When I asked an Xbox spokesperson if discounts would be available on Hulu Plus, she said I should ask Hulu about its plans.

Hulu’s also extending beyond the PC screen and consoles. It announced that its premium service will be available initially through Apple iPads, iPhones and iPod touches (third generation); certain Samsung home theater systems, Blu-ray players and TVs and upcoming Sony TV hardware.

But will the free version of Hulu be available on these same devices and hardware?

I was told no, because of various licensing rights for the content.

The free Hulu service — which has more than 40 million users a month — will continue to be available and shouldn’t see “much change.”

But full current seasons and past series of certain TV shows and access on multiple devices will cost $10 per month on Hulu Plus.

Comments | Topics: Digital media, hulu, hulu plus

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