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Hulu Users: Are You Ready & Willing To Start Paying $10 A Month?
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According to The LA Times, the popular online media-viewing website, Hulu, is getting ready to begin testing a system where users would pay $9.95 per month to watch their favorite TV shows on the site.

The set-up, which may start by late May, would allow anyone to freely watch the newest five episodes of shows from bigger networks such as Fox, NBC, and ABC, but would require you to become a paid monthly subscribers in order to see anything else and catch up with whole seasons.

It’s not known yet whether commercials would still play during a paid subscriber’s current video watching session, but that will likely be a major factor in whether a subscription is worth it or not. The report indicates that Hulu is second only to YouTube for video viewing, and brings in $100 MILLION just based on its advertising alone. Assuming that a company is even remotely greedy, it wouldn’t make much sense for them to stop the ads, despite this approaching fee.

The website — owned by NewsCorp, NBC Universal (they’ve made great choices lately!), and The Walt Disney Company — has been under pressure by the well-dressed business-types behind the curtain to introduce a paid subscription service as television channels have become more and more frustrated by loss of ratings due to the large group who choose to watch online.

Being someone who hates watching anything online, this matters not to I. However, I have to imagine faithful Hulu users will not be thrilled by the news. The reason things like this and OnDemand services are s appealing is that they allow us to watch when we choose to watch, and for the most part, it’s free to us.

One would have to assume that requiring people to start paying money for this service will lead to a lot of lost users — I know I sure as hell wouldn’t be paying if I was a fan of the site. Then again, many people love their TV online, so who knows how good or bad it will ultimately play out.

What do you guys think? Smart move by Hulu, or dumbest decision ever?

13 Comments »

  1. Terrible move. They already make $100 million dollars? I have to think this will be pretty profit neutral. I may be wrong, but it’s just another greedy move.

    Comment by LOTNorm — April 22, 2010 @ 12:41 am

  2. Why is it worth 10 bucks? FIrst of all it doesn’t have every show, second if I am paying it better have all episodes from the current season, third it has like no movies. Just do Netflix! Instant streaming for less and whatever they don’t have you get on dvd or blu-ray. Plus you could possibly have to watch commercials still. Ridiculous. Freaking greedy corporate whores.

    Comment by Guy_Jen — April 22, 2010 @ 3:29 am

  3. Personally, I agree with previous poster that Netflix is the better deal. I can have several DVDs at a time and my wife has access to enough streaming choices to keep her entertained. Plus Hulu seems to be in a state of flux. Hate to start paying $10/month and then lose access to a channel next month because they don’t want their content streaming on the Internet anymore or because they’ve created their own website too. And Hulu stopped allowing Boxee to connect to it so what happens if Hulu decides they don’t want my next favorite media software or browser to display their website anymore? Do they block access to that even though I’m subscribing now? So many uncertainties.

    Comment by Paul — April 22, 2010 @ 6:54 am

  4. As someone who pretty much only watches new stuff, it wouldn’t effect me much. However, I know at least one person that will not be pleased as she used it to watch Arrested Development, Dick Van Dyke, etc.

    I don’t think there’s going to be a big change, but I could see them losing enough viewers to offset the gain they think they’ll make by charging and ending up coming out neutral.

    I just wish CW was on the site so I didn’t have to use their horrible media player to watch Supernatural.

    Comment by Kent — April 22, 2010 @ 8:40 am

  5. Hulu is not worth a single penny.

    Comment by Sam — April 22, 2010 @ 10:12 am

  6. I would be tempted to pay…IF they add the ability to watch Hulu on my television through Boxee or my Blu-Ray player, like with NetFlix streaming.

    $10 to watch only through a computer is ridiculous.

    Comment by John — April 22, 2010 @ 10:27 am

  7. When they get full episodes of Dr. Who, then we’ll talk.

    Comment by Trevor — April 22, 2010 @ 10:53 am

  8. Hulu was great because it was free. Since they don’t seem to know already, they are going to learn very quickly how many other sites out there offer the same types of service for free. This reminds me of when Napster was taken down, bought out, brought back and they tried to charge people. Do you know anyone that still used Napster after that?

    Comment by WordSlinger — April 22, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

  9. If this becomes Hulu policy, I can see a steady rise in traffic of the major networks sites to watch the shows there.

    Comment by Brian — April 22, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

  10. I am the person who watches everything off of Hulu. I have to work a lot during the time my favorite shows are on, so I go onto Hulu to catch up. What I like about Hulu is it’s a one stop shop for all your tv shows, it has some old movies, and there is a playlist you can customize. Is Hulu worth paying $10? NO. Like perviously said there’s only 5 newest episodes of a current series available, they don’t have a big range of movies which are all old movies and the streaming quality isn’t too great. It’s not worth it when I can add TiVo onto my cable and I can get netflicks anytime. So if Hulu started charging then they can consider me a lost customer.

    Comment by Erika — April 22, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  11. Why would anyone pay when u can find anything online now for free if u just look.

    Comment by James Parker — April 22, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  12. Hulu’s selection of new shows sorta sucks. If you’re a fan of CBS or CW, you’re S.O.L. As mentioned above, the rest of the networks only keep a handful of new episodes online at a time.

    On the flip-side, however, they’ve got a ton of older programs that you can’t see anywhere else, including stuff like season 3 of “Night Gallery,” which doesn’t seem to be heading to DVD any time soon. Of course, other exclusive programming includes such tacky dreck as “My Mother the Car,” “Nanny and the Professor,” “The Munsters Today” and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures, the animated series…”

    If they were to offer even more older shows, I’d be willing to shell out $120 a year… but it seems like %99.9999 of stuff they’ve added in recent months is shows that are readily available on DVD, Japanimated crap I’ve never heard of, made-for-internet webisodes, and reality shows. I’m not paying $10 a month for crap I’ll never watch.

    Bottom line is they’re gonna lose masses of visitors if they start charging to use the site.

    Comment by Vinnie Rattolle — April 22, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  13. For $10 a month then need to give me HD content and a way to easily stream to my TV like Netflix.

    Comment by Demonstrable — April 22, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

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