AfterDawn: Tech news

Hulu co-owner wants viewers to pay for content

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 23 Oct 2009 13:00 User comments (25)

Hulu co-owner wants viewers to pay for content On Wednesday News Corp Deputy Chairman, Chase Carey, told an audience of broadcast and cable executives he hopes Hulu will move to a subscription model.
He said "I think what we nee to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value."

But is he right about the intrinsic value of the content? His vision seems to be at odds with that of Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.

Kilar's vision for Hulu connecting to as many users in as many ways as possible. It is largely this approach which has made Hulu one of the most popular video sites in the US.

That success hasn't insulated them from the whims of content providers. Earlier this year Hulu cut off access to their content from rival video site (CBS owned) TV.com.

At the same time they began blocking Boxee media center users and later PS3 users as well. Hulu's Kilar expressed regret for cutting off Boxee users, but indicated content owners (who also happen to own Hulu) gave him no choice.

NBC Entertainment and NBC Universal Television Studio Co-Chairman Marc Graboff seemed happier with Hulu's current direction than Carey.

He told Rueters, "Our research indicates that making shows available online has not cannibalized but has been additive."

He said "I know they're looking at any number of things, like adding inventory (more advertising) or creating a subscription model with different windows."

There's no question Hulu has value. The number of visitors each day proves that.

The question is how much of the value is in the content and how much is in spreading it to as many viewers as possible.

It's possible some sort of tiered access system might bring in additional revenue. But it seems naive to rely on a single unproven revenue stream and abandon another that's proven, if not as lucrative as they would like.

Graboff seems confident Hulu will eventually figure out an acceptable model. If one owner/content provider hits the panic button and insists on taking control out of the hands of Hulu executives that becomes a much bigger task.

Along NBC Universal and Fox parent News Corp, Hulu is owned by Disney, whose executives haven't weighed in on the site's direction publicly.

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25 user comments

123.10.2009 13:44

sheya, if they do this, don't expect me to be on this website. hope that the ceo has better sense cause there's no reason to monetize everything that's on the web. too many money grubbers out there taking advantage of web user's freedom by restricting people who cant afford cable/satellite especially in the recession we currently are in. just my 2 cents.

223.10.2009 13:56

Most of us don't even want to pay for news service, why would I pay for old episodes. This is another example of how a great idea is ruined by greed, Suck it Carey!

323.10.2009 15:12

I would not mind paying 3-4$ a month for access to full HD content...but that's is as much as I am willing to pay. And since they want 30-40 a month forget it....

423.10.2009 15:52

They can stick it up their "Hulu"

523.10.2009 16:35

What made hulu popular was that it was FREE! I'm not paying for an episode that i can watch OTA free. Don't give people an incentive to go back to downloading tv episodes.

623.10.2009 17:03

This guy should be thankful for what he has. Part of the allure of Hulu was that it was FREE. When you start charging money..FORGET it. You are toast. Same will happen to YouTube.

Remember what happened to Napster.

723.10.2009 17:15

Originally posted by windsong:
This guy should be thankful for what he has. Part of the allure of Hulu was that it was FREE. When you start charging money..FORGET it. You are toast. Same will happen to YouTube.

Remember what happened to Napster.
pretty much, they need to strive to be a top contender in free stuff, then pad it with subscriptions that can get you some or alot of HD higher qauilty stuff.

If they would use normal youtube qaulity for all the free stuff then offer X amount of bandwith say 1$ every 1GB (10$ gets you 2-3 films, or 5-10 eps, this would be a pay as you go plan) normal subscriptions of 10 a month gets you 30GB worth of bandwith, 30 gets you unlimited.) 10$ more a month kills all advertising. you can buy whole year packages at a 50% discount.

823.10.2009 20:03

Originally posted by spartybob:
Most of us don't even want to pay for news service, why would I pay for old episodes. This is another example of how a great idea is ruined by greed, Suck it Carey!

You said it brother!

923.10.2009 20:48

Originally posted by MightyOne:
They can stick it up their "Hulu"
LOL

1023.10.2009 22:57

I don't see this working. There is too much free content available on the internet. Why pay for Hulu when you can get it free elsewhere.

1123.10.2009 23:58

Anyone who pays for a subscription to a service that never updates their content; and who only provides free content anyway; is going to be very upset. I used to go to Hulu...but I got tired of watching the same 5 episodes of the same shows.

1224.10.2009 12:26

It lost me when the shows I watch were delayed 8 days. Asking for money what a joke, more of the viewers will download tv shows.

1324.10.2009 20:28

So lemme get this straight.

They want you to pay for TV shows that are free to watch on regular TV? Interesting. Does this guy realize i can tape shows on DVR? I don't need Hulu to watch shows i missed.

And if I have internet why waste time waiting 8 days for Hulu to show the episode i missed when within less than 24 hours the show will be uploaded to a torrent site...100% free and in HD.

This guy is clueless, thankfully he'll also be broke too soon if he gets his way.

1424.10.2009 20:47

i think if they wanna go to payed subscription service then they need to offer much more in a higher tier, if they were to offer tv shows 1 hour after airing on tv or newer movies for paying users then it may be worth it but right now the wait for most shows is 5+days with the exception of some of the daily shows. you could watch it as it is now for free or access shows much sooner after airing and commercial free if you pay a fee, they could also offer newer movies to paying subscribers kinda like HBO or cinemax. basically the free service would become an advertising model for the paid service.

1524.10.2009 21:44

Yeah, the only reason I stopped doing it dirty and watching it on Hulu was because I thought the TV companies were getting some revenue through the commercials.

I wouldn't mind seeing more ads on the site, as long as they're not inside the breaks themselves, but making it a pay site's just gonna put them under.

Maybe if they keep what they have right now the same, and put up a pay version where you get more control and HD videos, with less ads, then maybe that would be worth paying for.

1625.10.2009 10:08
atomicxl
Inactive

I remember reading on Afterdawn a few months ago that Hulu doesn't even break even. I guess a subscription was going to come. Depending on how much the want to charge, I'd be willing to pay it. I hope it's a monthly fee that's in the single digits per month or a yearly fee that's like $30 or something. I only watch Hulu when there is a new TV season and there are like huge stretches of time when I don't visit the site at all.. If they make

I think it's a little bogus that everyone is claiming greed. Isn't it greedier to expect someone to throw their money down the trash can just to do you a favor?

1725.10.2009 10:53

I do not live in the US so Hulu is not available in my country, however I have searched online video guides and found several free sites for viewing both US and UK tv programming. Hulu may find others looking for free alternatives if they start charging for their service.

1825.10.2009 15:44
LissenUp
Inactive

I kind of agree.............kind of................with Zippy. 3-4 bucks for full HD content NO COMMERCIALS could be tolerable but even that is diminished by the idea of simply going to the ABC, CBS, NBC, SYFY websites and watching their most recently shown programs there in full HD. 30 ads don't bother me and probably don't bother most others.

1925.10.2009 15:51
LissenUp
Inactive

Originally posted by atomicxl:
I remember reading on Afterdawn a few months ago that Hulu doesn't even break even. I guess a subscription was going to come. Depending on how much the want to charge, I'd be willing to pay it. I hope it's a monthly fee that's in the single digits per month or a yearly fee that's like $30 or something. I only watch Hulu when there is a new TV season and there are like huge stretches of time when I don't visit the site at all.. If they make

I think it's a little bogus that everyone is claiming greed. Isn't it greedier to expect someone to throw their money down the trash can just to do you a favor?

Man............that's like saying there's no 'reverse racism'. What a load of malarky! Anyone who believes that greed isn't the motivator should have their decision making privileges taken away. It's greed.........plain and simple. The shows are meant for people to watch when they've missed them..............that's just not somethign that should be capitalized on.

I have my computer sitting next to my 52" LCD and integrated with my home theatre system so I watch online shows in a unique fashion.............most people do not have a set up like me and sit down at their computer and watch on tiny little monitors in an office chair. Who the Hell would capitalize on that. Pointless. Greed baby greed is what motivates just about all tv-related decisions.

2026.10.2009 14:37
atomicxl
Inactive

@LissenUp

I still think it's funny that people are demanding free streaming HD content and then turning around and calling someone else greedy. I think throwing around greed is a little silly when it's a company that still hasn't broken even yet. It's past the coffee calling the kettle black... it's like oil calling chocolate ice cream black. On top of that, some responses are, "give it to me free or i'll steal it from you." LOL, for real? It's the corporation that's being greedy in this situation?

2129.10.2009 18:12

The bad thing is, they will still have ads. It's one thing to want to make money, it is a completely different thing to go for more and more and more. Face it, these shows made their money from the original televised ads, which should have been enough. For fuck's sake, how many more revenue streams do they need? Funny how they wouldn't sell me vhs tapes of all my favorite shows back in the day, but now that tv-on-dvd had caught on, they make it harder to record the content. It is rediculous. Let me record full high def content and do what I like with it (i.e. make dvds to watch on non-hd tvs, stream throughout my house, put on my ipod, etc).

2230.10.2009 4:51

This is what always bugged me about cable...they charge for local channels that are free OTA, and that are already paid for by more than 16 minutes of adds per hour. Even worse were the cable-only channels...channels that the customer pays for, yet they still have 16 minutes of adds per hour...WTF! Then they took steps to prevent the use of a quality DVR, and to prevent use with computers...that was the last straw.

I have a nice antenna now...screw these content providers. If they want to charge for content, then the quality should be high and commercial free. If they want to charge for commercials, then they should do everything they can to get the show out to as many people as possible, thereby driving up add revenue significantly. If they want to charge for internet TV with lower quality than free broadcasts, then they need to offer stuff that is not broadcast for free...with the best HD quality they can offer (top quality web HD still does not look as good as free OTA HD).



2331.10.2009 15:23

Hulu was a nice site to revisit lots of tv shows and a few movies, but if they put a price tag on it they can stick it up there butts. There is so much free content out there that they will lose I think at least 50% of there viewing because of the cost as there are plenty of sites that charge now for the newer movies and things that are alot cheaper then what they are thinking of charging to watch reruns! And if your gonna pay you might as well go to satelight to see everything! Its nice to surf the net but they have been trying to put a tax on your internet connection for the past ten years so wait if that goes thru you will see a decline in internet use also! IF HULU GOES TO PAY THEY LOST ME FOR SURE!!!!!

241.11.2009 2:19

Just goes to show you that truly nothing is for free...

2530.11.2009 1:30

if they charge they will lose allot of business

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