Hulu To Begin Charging For Video Content

by Michael Horton on June 4, 2009

All great free things can’t last forever, especially when the entertainment industry is involved. What I’m referring to is Hulu.com, the most popular content streaming service online and where millions of users watch full TV episodes of their favorite shows. According to Jonathan Miller, News Corp’s CDO, Hulu may soon begin charging subscription fees for some of their online content.

For all of us that knows Hulu, loves Hulu – one of the best things about Hulu is that it’s free of charge with limited amounts of advertising. However, when limited advertising is involved – more money needs to be had, at least according to Miller.

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.”

While Miller did not directly come out and state that they would be charging for content, he just suggests that it’s definitely a possibility.

The move to begin charging users for content would be a decision that the Hulu board would have to make as a whole. Including News Corp and Fox, other large shareholders include Disney and NBC Universal.

I believe that Hulu pay-per-view or Hulu subscriptions of some kind is definitely on the horizon, which is a bit unfortunate. I’m a fan of Pandora, the free online streaming radio service, where it has free access with limited commercials OR they offer a paid subscription without commercial interruptions. Perhaps Hulu could add a few more advertisements in exchange to keep offering free content and then have a subscription if you don’t want the ads?

What do you think? Should Hulu being charging for content? Would it in return provide us more content?