Hulu, a site whose slogan once read “Watch your favorites. Anytime. For Free,” is going to be axing that last part in 2010, as they plan to start charging a subscription for its viewers.
Today, an Entertainment Weekly News Brief stated
At an industry summit in NYC on Oct. 21, New Corp Deputy Chairman Chase Carey revealed that online video hub Hulu will begin charging users for content as soon as 2010, according to Broadcasting and Cable. Carey told reporters that a subscription system is likely, although some content will probably continue to be offered free of charge. “I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content. I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value,” he said.
I understand Hulu wants to make more money, but I’m just curious if there is a market for it. Netflix already offers a large selection in their instant queue for a monthly subscription, commercial free. Furthermore, many broadcasting stations already offer internet streaming after the episode has aired, very similar to Hulu presently, with commercials.
I love Hulu for exactly what its slogan says it offers–it has a very large selection, I can watch it anytime, and it is free. Cutting out the “free” cuts out a large reason why I enjoy it. As a college student with a busy schedule, Hulu has provided me with the opportunity to watch new shows or continue watching shows I love, even when they were at the same time as a scheduled class or meeting. Hulu being free allowed me to enjoy it more than illegal streaming sites or Netflix, because I could watch it without feeling guilty, both because I wasn’t watching it illegally and because I didn’t spend any money to do so.
What do you think? Do you think it’s fair they charge a subscription? Do you use sites like Netflix or Hulu? How have these entertainment sites changed our society’s leisure practices?