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Television Advertising Entertainment

Subscription-Based 'Hulu Plus' Is Now Official 434

Posted by kdawson
from the whenever-wherever dept.
itwbennett writes "After months of rumors, Hulu officially announced its $9.99/month Hulu Plus service. Invites will soon start rolling out in weekly batches. So what will you get for that $9.99? 'Full access to a bunch of current shows (Hulu lists 40 but adds 'and more' to that list) as well as complete series collections of some older titles such as The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the wonderful and mostly-ignored Eli Stone,' writes blogger Peter Smith. 'HD content sources will be streamed at 720P but Hulu mentions that the service is ad-supported.'"
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Subscription-Based 'Hulu Plus' Is Now Official

Comments Filter:
  • Re:HD Sources (Score:5, Informative)

    by Psyborgue (699890) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:19PM (#32736010) Homepage Journal
    Netflix already does that. HD too, even on pc.
  • Re:netflix? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Itchyeyes (908311) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:19PM (#32736016) Homepage

    what are they thinking?

    My guess is that they're thinking that timeliness is worth something. Not everybody wants to wait 6 months from the time an episode airs to watch it on Netflix. In fact, I think the overlap between Hulu and Netflix is actually very small, as Netflix doesn't feature content until it makes it to DVD, or in many cases even 30 days after that, and Hulu doesn't feature content after a season has finished airing.

  • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Informative)

    by egburr (141740) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:29PM (#32736152) Homepage

    Cable originally started with "no ads" as the big selling point. After only a few years, the "no ads" was only on the "premium channels" for which you paid even more, while regular cable got more and more ads as the number of different channels kept increasing.

    At least Hulu is just starting off admitting they need the ads along with the subscription fee. This is probably to cover costs of getting permission to provide the shows and also is probably just enough to cover network bandwidth of the high-volume movie watchers.

  • by joekool (21359) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:32PM (#32736194) Homepage
    It looks like what you get for 9.99 is access outside the browser. They mention Samsung tvs, and ipad/iphone.

    no android love yet though.
  • Re:netflix? (Score:3, Informative)

    by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:35PM (#32736228)
    It's hit or miss, but I've found for the majority of current shows that netflix does not carry them which is why I use both netflix and Hulu. Netflix is much higher quality and I dont have to hook the pc up to the TV so I use that whenever I can, but Hulu seems to have more of the new network TV shows.
  • Re:HD Sources (Score:3, Informative)

    by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:36PM (#32736244) Homepage Journal

    So not only will I be paying $9.99 but I'll also be watching ads? Hmm... no.

    No, you'll be downloading torrents like the rest of us. Noobs will be paying $9.99 and watching ads.

  • Re:Anything! (Score:3, Informative)

    by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:37PM (#32736258)
    Pay $10/month and get a VPN account/VPS account and tunnel to the US =)
  • Re:netflix? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MWoody (222806) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:40PM (#32736330)

    Occasionally, Netflix has newer stuff via special deals with the distributors (Whitest Kids You Know did this for their newest season, for example). Mostly, though, no: it's best used for older titles, as it's rare to find an instant watch show or movie not also out on DVD.

    So yes, I supplement Netflix with Hulu to watch new stuff. But that's the thing, here: Hulu Plus doesn't affect new shows, based on their press release. It's just to watch the older stuff. Hell, two of their own examples - Buffy and the X-Files - are already on Netflix instant watch, with the other one being available on DVD. So for a dollar more per month, you get roughly the same content as Netflix, plus ads, without the DVD rental part. I can't fathom how they intend to compete.

  • Re:netflix? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:44PM (#32736384)

    Netflix has very few current shows via their partnership with "Starz". The only thing notable recently was Spartacus.

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:45PM (#32736390)

    the question is then, can I? if my billing address is still in the USA, will it work, or will it block me due to the fact that i'll be connecting through a foreign ISP?

    I didn't see anything on the initial post on hulu about that...

    My understanding is that they control access via IP and not billing address. I've ran into several issues when I was 'overseas' in Canada for work.

  • Re:Goodbye Hulu (Score:3, Informative)

    by fermion (181285) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:50PM (#32737488) Homepage Journal
    Here is an article from bloomberg that pretty much sums up the fate of Hulu. [] Here are a few high points
    • Viacom did not feel that Hulu made any financial sense, so left. Maybe 10% of the viewer left as well.
    • Hulu is profitable on a cash flow basis, which means they are not, although some analysis say they might have a 3 profit.
    • According to the number in the article, hulu distributes less than $3 per view to the producers of the show per year.
    • CBS will only come on board for the subscription service
    • Hulu shows have four minutes of commercials per hour, compared with 16 on broadcast TV.
    • "Consumers should not be retrained that premium TV content is cheaper on any platform, especially the Internet," Martin wrote in a June 1 report.

      Given this reality, if CBS and any other new joined in exchange for additional revenues from a subscription, it seems unlikely that everyone else would be willing to split $3 a year per view when there was an additional $100 a year per view to fight over. It would make sense that they would move everything but the current show, perhaps with a two week lag, to the free service. This plan is an experiment to see if a pay model will work. I think as few as 2-3 million subscribers would allow the feee service to terminate. Even if fixed costs rise a little, it might still increase produce network profits by an order of magnitude.

  • Re:Goodbye Hulu (Score:5, Informative)

    by znerk (1162519) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:53PM (#32737542)

    Because they're charging for stuff that used to be free. That's why.

    This does not replace regular Hulu. Go read up on this before you fly off the handle.

    Au contrair, the stuff they're now charging for access to started quietly slipping off of the site months ago... Whereas you used to be able to watch entire seasons of programming on Hulu, now only the most recent several episodes are available. Any "flying off the handle" is justified; my own Hulu viewing has been severely curtailed by this development.

    It may not be replacing "regular" Hulu, but that's only because "regular" Hulu has been getting stripped down for the past several months... apparently in preparation for this step.

  • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:59PM (#32737626) Homepage

    Yuck. I just have uTorrent grab them automatically from my RSS feed with filters for the show I want. Took me 20 minutes to set up. I spend 6.2 seconds a week maintaining it, all my TV shows just magically appear.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @05:27PM (#32737862)

    If you recall correctly, it wasn't too long ago that hulu dropped support for 64bit flash on Linux out of the blue and left everyone in the dark. A couple of months later, after completely no replies and many ignored user questions, hulu finally managed to say that it was adobe's fault, with no plans of a fix. And just like that, a couple of months later, hulu starting working on 64bit Linux out of the blue.

    Any sane person who went through this ordeal would refuse any kind of service this company would offer.

  • Re:HD Sources (Score:3, Informative)

    by Xtifr (1323) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @05:32PM (#32737910) Homepage

    There are some others, e.g. Leverage with Timothy Hutton and Gina Bellman (of Coupling fame) has had as-they-were-aired availability on Netflix, and I've seen a couple of others. But it's definitely rare compared to the only-stream-older-seasons or only-on-DVD shows.

  • Re:Wait... (Score:3, Informative)

    by theaceoffire (1053556) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:47PM (#32762450) Homepage
    In case other people are interested, some good RSS feeds: []

    I also have seen people use flexget to download all the torrent files, then use the deluge plugin to auto-start and move them when done to the correct folders.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn