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Television Media Entertainment

Hulu May Begin Charging For Video Content 313

An anonymous reader writes "According to Jonathan Miller, News Corp's CDO, Hulu may soon begin charging subscription fees for some of their online content. 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.'"
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Hulu May Begin Charging For Video Content

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  • by Jeruvy ( 1045694 ) * on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:14PM (#28212581)

    Since we still can't watch Hulu in Canada, I won't be paying anything. It's probably cheaper than cable anyways.

    • by princessproton ( 1362559 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:24PM (#28212745)

      My initial reaction was to buck against this, but on second thought (and depending on how it's implemented) maybe it wouldn't be that bad. The thing I hate about cable is that there is no "a la carte" option where I can selectively pay for the channels I actually want and not have to pay for the other 90% of the programming that comes in the packages. Depending on how they swing this, if they offer cable-based content as individual subscriptions at prices that are cumulatively less than my current cable bill, it may actually be a better option for me and allow me to cancel cable altogether.

      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:46PM (#28213075) Homepage Journal

        Agreed. Why do I have to pay for four separate "shopping channels" that are nothing but end to end commercials? I hate golf, but I have to pay for the golf channel. And the Disney channel. And Lifetime. And BET. Hell, if it wasn't for Mythbusters I wouldn't even watch the Discovery channel.

        If my $30/month payment was divided between the channels I do watch, I'd pay less than five bucks a month. Whay do I have to subsidize golfers and parents of little kids and housewives? Whay would a single man want FAM? I'm just glad I can program my TV to skip these channels when I surf. I wish I didn't have to pay for them!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by maxume ( 22995 )

          You really think you are paying for the shopping channels? Really?


          • by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:18PM (#28213575)

            You really think you are paying for the shopping channels?

            In capitalist America, shopping channels are paying for you.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by stfvon007 ( 632997 )

              The only time i watched the shopping channel was when they were selling star trek merchandise with John de Lancie on the show. He was making fun of all the products. Unfortunately i don't think they ever had him back again. With Ala Carte would we be paid for having the shopping channel? Can we have a plan with only shopping channels and get a check in the mail each month? :D

        • by mh1997 ( 1065630 )
          I'd pay. I use netflix and hulu to watch the shows I would watch if I had a cable/satellite. The reason I don't have cable or satellite is because I have to pay a flat fee instead of a useage fee - and I watched very little TV and it wasn't worth it. Don't confuse this with my refusal to pay a useage fee vs. flat fee for internet; I am a hypochrite and I know it.
          • Well, I think if the usage fee for internet was significantly less than the flat fee, you'd also consider it. I wouldn't call that being a hypocrite.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Jerry ( 6400 )


          There are a LOT more infomercial channels than that. I used to subscribe to an 80 channel cable service. One night, around 1:30AM, I counted that over 75% of those channels were broadcasting infomercials. The cable companies are double-dipping. The infomercial businesses have to pay cable to get their ads on cable, and the consumer has to pay to watch them.

          I got tired of it and dropped my cable service. I got a converter for my one analog TV and and built to HD antennas as decribed on the YouTube

        • by LandDolphin ( 1202876 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:10PM (#28213461)
          2 possible ways I could see ala-cart going:

          1)They charge for for the popular channels - So, the big channels still sub. the little ones and your bill remains the same or more.

          2)They charge more for the un-popular channels to maek them worth offering. You find out that some of the channels that you like (like discovery, sci-fi, and others) are not as pupular as Lifetime and you end up paying more to get those channels and you bill remains the same or more.
        • Because it doesn't cost them _anything_ to give you more channels. You would still have to pay just as much for the few channels you watch. The shopping channels actually make money for the cable company.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tabdelgawad ( 590061 )

          I think this is the wrong way to think about cable service pricing. The marginal cost of providing you with an additional channel of cable is essentially zero. The pricing here is completely demand-driven and is about segmenting the market (price discrimination). In this, cable service tier pricing is closer to pricing different versions of Windows (Home, Business, Premium, etc, which all have the same marginal cost) than it is to bundling discrete goods.

          Once you see it that way, you'll see that what you

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

          "Whay do I have to subsidize golfers and parents of little kids and housewives? "

          I hate to break it to you, but I very much doubt you're subsidizing little kids and housewives with your television watching. More the other way around, I expect.

      • by Tx ( 96709 )

        ...if they offer cable-based content as individual subscriptions at prices that are cumulatively less than my current cable bill, it may actually be a better option...

        Yeah, but that's a pretty big if, unless you really don't watch much TV. Especially in the long run. The networks producing the shows want to make as much money as they are now, and while they might let the pricing be low in the early days, sooner or later the margin is going to go up. Shows are $2-3 on iTunes, and you can pretty much guarante

        • Yet another reason to share with your neighbor! This works especially well in a duplex, but given your setup, might work in other places too. There's also the sneakernet--500gb of books/whatever whenever needed
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 2obvious4u ( 871996 )

        I'm already paying NBC Universal News Corp for access to their content in my Comcast Cable bill. Why should I have to pay for their content twice?

        A la cart is an awesome and great goal, but paying for the full swath and then paying extra for a la cart on top of the combo sucks.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrdoogee ( 1179081 )
        they provide the entire current season.

        they stop showing comercials.

        they make every show on the network available, regardless of ratings

        Then I may be interested in paying for Hulu. If not, then back to torrents for me. I already pay for cable, and I have a open source DVR [] that can record OTA network TV fine.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mrdoogee ( 1179081 )
          Also, they need to make thier "full screen" HD look like HD. On my 1i1 19" 1440X900 monitor it looks worse than SD television.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jocknerd ( 29758 )

        Except don't expect Hulu to give you alacarte either. They will bundle just like cable. Get you to pay $20 a month or something. I knew this was coming from Hulu.

    • by sopssa ( 1498795 )

      Neither do they show anything here in Europe. Oh well, I would actually liked to pay for such service, as I'm already paying here for similar ones but which more like let you download .ts etc recorded from tv (just to note, legally). However I dont really want to wait to watch the shows I like, so I have to get them otherwise. I do like the easy of things however, and with gaming Steam has done great job. Same for spotify here in europe with music streaming (its actually better than you even have in usa). B

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by zlogic ( 892404 )

      Perhaps they could allow you to pay instead or watching the ads. The reason Hulu works only in US is because its advertisers don't want to subsidize the videos watched in another country where the person who watched it won't be able to buy the advertised product.

      • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:32PM (#28213775)
        No, it's because of exclusive redistribution contracts with foreign media companies. They could find plenty of international advertisers and even national advertisers using IP location services just like everything else on the web. The problem is that the media companies have divided up the world into a ton of little markets and their existing contracts don't allow them to do internet based distribution. It's an old business model that will change over time but it could take quite a while.
    • This is a good thing, maybe I can watch Hulu programs in Europe soon. ( yes I have a work-around for the region problem). I will pay for content I want to see. (I don't pay for cable as I don't want to see most of that content. (see the others' al à carte option posts)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I want you off the fucking comments, you prick. Don't just be sorry, think for one fucking second. What the FUCK are you DOING? Are you professional or not?

      Am I going to walk around and make off-topic shit comments, in the middle of your Canadian threads? Then why the fuck are you posting your shit here? Ah da da dah, no Hulu in Canada, like this in the background. What the fuck is it with you? What don't you fucking understand?

      You got any fucking idea about, hey, it's fucking distracting having somebo

  • Worst Source Ever (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:15PM (#28212591) Journal
    It came from words spoken at Hollywood Reporter's Internet Week [] (which seems to be the origin of this report). And from Jeff Bercovici at Daily Finance [] who reoprts that Jonathan Miller, Chief Digital Officer of News Corp said:

    I think what works for consumers most likely -- and this has to be tested, frankly -- is bundles. I think you have to figure out what are the right bundles that people buy and what's contained in that bundle. For example, you could have -- and I'm making this up entirely -- you could have a New York bundle, and that could consist of various papers or publications that are relevant to the audience in New York, and you could make that all, potentially, a bundle to a consumer at one price.

    For what it's worth, he also made this statement:

    I went from paying $14 to The Wall Street Journal to paying $10 to Amazon. Now the splits there, and I think this is relatively well known, are very, very much in favor of Amazon. So I became very much less valuable to The Wall Street Journal. That's part one. Part two is they don't know I exist. I went from being someone who's their subscriber to being someone who is an Amazon subscriber, which The Wall Street Journal has no visibility back to and cannot manage that customer relationship. . . . So they've lost both the customer management and, trust me, the lion's share of the economics.

    You know I hate to be voice of calm reason, folks but this is all the original source reported:

    Asked specifically about the future of online video joint venture Hulu, which is currently advertising-supported, he said it "is an environment for premium content." Pointing to the popularity of iPhone applications, he added: "We're seeing the beginning of a very strong app economy."

    From there, you can trace a very hilarious wave of the telephone game from blog to blog of people slowly blowing it out of proportion as it's put together that this guy is talking about paid subscriptions and he's in charge of Hulu therefore Hulu must be becoming a paid subscription service.

  • Surprised? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Is anyone seriously surprised? Did anyone really think they were going to give away their content for free forever? Of course they were giving it away free initially to generate interest and then later going to tack on a price tag...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Enuratique ( 993250 )
      The first hit's always free...
      • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by v1 ( 525388 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:26PM (#28212767) Homepage Journal

        The first hit's always free...

        it's a great business model if you can afford front the startup costs without any initial customers. Attracts a lot more initial customers because you get a lot of people that normally would not pay for your service, but once they've had a sample of it they change their mind. Of course you'll lose a bunch of people when you switch to pay, but the only hit you'll take on that is what you've already fronted them with so it doesn't come as a surprise or a bad hit you didn't see coming or couldn't calculate/prepare for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ecolossal ( 209626 )

      Well- they don't exactly "give away their content for free forever" .

      Commercials are interspersed throughout every movie and show. Also, for most shows, they only make a handful of episodes available at a time.

    • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:25PM (#28212759) Homepage

      Well I think ultimately the issue is this: Everyone sees the writing on the wall. TV shows and movies are going to have to be offered available online, or else people will get it through pirate channels. So the movie studios and everyone are starting to reluctantly jump on board, but they don't have the business model all worked out.

      So can they make enough money from advertisements? Can they make enough money from subscriptions, or a la carte sales? Can they work out some kind of combination, or will consumers balk at the idea of paying for a subscription and still watching ads? People already do that with cable (pay for it and still watch tons of ads), so it's not unthinkable.

      iTunes is doing the a la carte sales, Hulu is doing ads. If someone else isn't doing subscriptions, someone will probably try it soon.

      • iTunes is doing the a la carte sales, Hulu is doing ads. If someone else isn't doing subscriptions, someone will probably try it soon.

        There's a slight difference here: iTunes is mostly selling songs, which people generally listen to over and over and over. Hulu shows TV shows, which people generally only watch once and rarely ever again. People have always paid for music, first on vinyl (actually on Edison cylinders before that), later on CDs, and now in downloadable digital form. But for TV, people have

    • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sunderland56 ( 621843 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:30PM (#28212837)
      Did anyone really think they were going to give away their content for free forever?

      What, you mean like broadcast television?
      • Did anyone really think they were going to give away their content for free forever?

        What, you mean like broadcast television?

        On top of that it WASN'T free. There were advertisements which helped pay for it, and I was happy to view just to support them. You couldn't save the content to your hard drive directly from the site. I'm sure there are ways, though.

    • Over-the-air TV has been giving away their content for free for at least 6 decades now, by allowing advertisers to pay for it. They're still doing that.

      Lots of companies have been giving away content for free on the internet, using the same model, for over a decade now.

      Now, all of a sudden, some companies want to start charging consumers directly for this content. I think they're going to have a rude wake-up call when very few people bother to subscribe. There's so much stuff available for free that I'm

      • Over-the-air TV has been giving away their content for free for at least 6 decades now, by allowing advertisers to pay for it. They're still doing that. Lots of companies have been giving away content for free on the internet, using the same model, for over a decade now.

        I would happily pay a subscription fee to get content without commercials. I recently canceled my sat. radio because they started playing advertisements on some channels - I pay a premium to get /away/ from the constant bombardment of ads. When someone expects me to both put up with the ads, and also pay a premium price, I walk away - there's precious little for sale that's worth the expense of having billy blanks bellowing his latest snake oil at me.

        Your definition of "for free" is valid only if you

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 )

      Did anyone really think they were going to give away their content for free forever?

      I see no reason why not. I give my content away for free, so do people who are actually read, like Lessig and Doctorow, whose novels are free online but yet he still manages to make the NYT best sellers list.

      Oh, Murdoch... no, you shouldn't expect someone who worships money to give anything away for free. A greedhead would rather make $100 and not give anything away than make 1,000 giving it away.

      "The love of money is the ro

  • by ecolossal ( 209626 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:17PM (#28212627) Journal

    Do they feel the need to add a subscription fee when they already show commercials....? Isn't that what drives dissatisfaction with cable?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      No, I think what drives dissatisfaction with cable is that you can only watch what is currently on.

      Oh, and you're forced to watch ads.

      I'd gladly pay $10/month for on-demand commercial-free access (under Linux) to any episode of every show currently offered in Hulu's library.

      Throw in Dr. Who, Torchwood, and Top Gear, and I'd pay $20/month.

      I also might be persuaded to watch commercials if you did it on something that wasn't as dog-slow as flash (video tag anyone?) Hell, throw in Linux codec licensing as part

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:18PM (#28212633)

    real headline should be "Hulu expects viewership to drop off significantly."

  • Not Smart (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shma ( 863063 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:18PM (#28212635)
    If they charge for on demand content, then people will just go back to downloading it for free.
  • by MikeV ( 7307 )

    Get them hooked with freebies - then hit them in the wallet.

  • Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdposeur ( 910128 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:19PM (#28212653) Journal

    He went on to say that he doesn't 'see why over time that shouldn't happen.'"

    Fine, but it's either subscription or ads. You don't get to do both.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by bdleonard ( 931507 )
      TiVo, Inc. disagrees with this statement ... unfortunately.
    • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SwordsmanLuke ( 1083699 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:33PM (#28212899)
      Tell that to the cable company.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer ( 890720 )

      Fine, but it's either subscription or ads. You don't get to do both.

      Why not? Why shouldn't ads subsidize some of the content so that subscription fees are manageable?

      It doesn't have to be an either/or situation.

      Why not offer ad-free content to "gold" subscribers, limited ads to "silver" subscribers, and normal ad levels to "brown" (free) subscribers.

      Then everybody wins, since it's the choice of the subscriber.

      I know that the magazine-subscription model is very different, largely due to the cost of prod

      • Then everybody wins, since it's the choice of the subscriber.

        If you were dealing with people who believed in and celebrated choice, they wouldn't be trying so hard to make Hulu just like TV. Instead, they'd show us the availability and selection that modern information technology can offer. They'd also make an effort to prove that a legitimate site can offer compelling reasons to appreciate their content that you won't find on BitTorrent.

    • Fine, but it's either subscription or ads. You don't get to do both.

      Why not? It worked for the newspaper industry for hundreds of years. The newspapers that still produce content instead of reprinting AP articles (like the WSJ, etc) will continue to do this for a long time. Shouting "nuh-uh, one or the other" with no justification is petty whinging.

      If they start charging, however, they will need ensure that customers can easily watch shows using a couch, remote, and TV, since that is still a popular way t

  • They own pretty much everything, don't they?

  • Can't use it... (Score:4, Informative)

    by micromuncher ( 171881 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:20PM (#28212685) Homepage

    Many of us outside the US can't use Hulu anyway; so it doesn't matter ;-)

  • Nice while it lasted (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jgtg32a ( 1173373 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:24PM (#28212739)
    Back to TPB
  • He went on to say that he doesn't 'see why over time that shouldn't happen.'

    To keep their users? *shrug*

    Sometimes I think the ad model works better here. There are so many other free sources for video these days, especially online-based. :-p

  • ... what it was always designed to do, though admittedly at a higher, more general level than originally envisioned: It will route around the blockage.

  • I'd welcome it...but (Score:3, Interesting)

    by codeonezero ( 540302 ) * on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:29PM (#28212817)
    I really don't have a problem with a subscription model. It would be great if they kept a lot of the stuff they have now, and say let me pay a subscription to watch episodes of The Office and other shows I watch on the same day they are released on live TV. Or let me subscribe and let me watch every episode of The Office, American Dad, or Family Guy whenever I want while keeping the 10 or so episodes they currently do available for free.

    Also if the subscription meant the option to watch a full series without commercial interruption that would be great too.

    I have to admit the only reason I downloaded a few Stargate episodes was because I didn't have a TV set I could watch it on. If instead I had the option to pay a minimal monthly fee and pick and choose the shows I wanted to watch with the plus of seeing the show the day it aired, I would have had zero desire to download anything. As it was, a few times I downloaded something, there were no sound or special effects added in, and many times I opted to just buy the video off iTunes, due to the quality of the content. A subscription fee on the range of $10-$15 month would be nice. Anything more, good luck with that Hulu, I'd rather just buy DVDs and episodes of iTunes.

  • Hulu, nice knowin' ya...

  • Bastards (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Niris ( 1443675 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:33PM (#28212897)
    The whole reason I even watch Hulu is because I don't want to deal with getting the digital converter box when the change happens, and it's cool being able to watch things when you want to. Having to pay for Hulu just ruins the entire great idea of it being like DTV with the normal free channels. Hell, I'd even be cool with more commercials in their shows to keep it free for me. Plus I can watch all the Firefly episodes on there. That's just awesome .
    • by Mitreya ( 579078 )
      Hell, I'd even be cool with more commercials in their shows to keep it free for me.

      I, however, would rather pay than have even more commercials. They should really offer a choice as long as they don't expect both a pay and commercials. I would pay a monthly fee or maybe per episode subscription (as long as I can re-watch it) if I could remove the commercials and thus support a good service.
      I had always wondered if the revenue from online adverts is much lower than that from TV commercials? I hope th

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 )

      My friend just bought a digital TV. I wrote a letter to a local weekly about it in response to their story about a local PBS station being dropped from basic cable and put on digital-only.

      Digital backslide []
      A friend who uses an indoor antenna bought a digital TV, and now only has four stations, two in analog, one of which is a Catholic religion station, and two in digital.

      I fear this will happen to cable subscribers too after the loss of Channel 8 [see "Channel 8 goes blank for some WSEC viewers," by Amanda R

  • Bye Hulu! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:33PM (#28212905)
    People watched you because you were free. You were a simple way to watch a show someone had missed that maybe the Tivo didn't record due to electrical storm. Once you start charging, you lose your viewership. No viewership? No ad revenue. No viewership? No subscription revenue. And no, you're not Too Big To Fail (TM), so no bailout revenue either.

    Too bad. You spent all that money on TV and movie ads about evil alien plots to get eyes on your site, just to screw it all up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Except this just an article about a rumor of them charging subscriptions. Nowhere are there actual plans for Hulu to charge anything now or any time in the future. It's amazing how easily people fall for these FUD spreading articles based entirely on second-hand rumors.
    • Actually, if it means that I get to watch what I want, when I want, in HD or SD, and without ads, I'll gladly pay a subscription fee to Hulu. That's damn better than cable.

  • I haven't really used Hulu much, but from what I saw, it's not really worth paying for.

  • fans of hulu will migrate to a competing web video service, if they are forced to pay.
  • by rAiNsT0rm ( 877553 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:56PM (#28213223) Homepage

    Seriously I try to get this through people's heads all the time... for geeks we sure can be dumb. It is and has been free. If everyone ignores the service if/when it goes pay or even if only parts go pay only IGNORE them, also make it known you are NOT going to pay for the content... ads are enough to deal with for the content. Then Hulu (which is already successful) will find alternate avenues for revenue. If everyone just jumps in right off the bat you have instantly ensured all future video services like this will be pay-only. Wake up! Please.

    • by maugle ( 1369813 )
      Welcome! You must be a visitor from bizarro-Slashdot, where geeks jump at the chance to pay for content they used to get for free.
  • Cable? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by somethinghollow ( 530478 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @02:57PM (#28213239) Homepage Journal
    I have one of these already. It's called "cable." You pay a monthly fee and you get to watch a bunch of different channels with lots of different content. The only difference I can tell between a paid Hulu and cable is that Hulu is only "on demand," has less content, and wants to be PC-only. So, basically, Hulu will be the crappy version of cable.
    • I have one of these already. It's called "cable." You pay a monthly fee and you get to watch a bunch of different channels with lots of different content.

      You get to pay a monthly fee for X channels, when you only watch Y channels. And it's almost universally the case that X >> Y. It would be quite a bit cheaper if you only had to pay for what you actually watched. Wait, you want to time-shift, too? That's extra. Forgot to record something on your DVR? Tough luck. Maybe it'll be on again soo

  • by HertzaHaeon ( 1164143 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:00PM (#28213295) Homepage

    I'll gladly pay for a service like Hulu if I can watch it from outside the US. No silly "this video isn't available in your region". Just show the damn thing and take my money. Preferably, there's a choice between a small fee per episode or a subcription model.

    But I expect they won't do that. So in effect, they don't want my money, they like to trouble me online and would rather see me download tv series.

  • by Big Boss ( 7354 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:03PM (#28213349)

    For a download based service, sure, I can see that. But streaming sucks, more so on video. Unless connections get a whole lot better, I'm not the least bit interested in streaming. With downloads, I can do HD, no problems. About 1GB per hour at the standard illegal sources last time I checked. It doesn't take a whole lot to screw up a stream with those sorts of bandwith requirements. Downloads just go a little slower for a bit. Unencrypted, 720p or 1080p, h264 video (3Mbit/sec minimum, probably about 6Mbit/sec for 1080p), AC3 audio, MKV container preferred.

    Sell me that, with a fast server to download from and an RSS feed I can automate the process from, for a reasonable price, and I *WILL* buy. Reasonable price would be about half what the season goes for on Blu-Ray. I'm not getting media, packaging, shipping, etc., so I won't pay for it either. And if I'm paying, it must be ad-free. If I'm not paying, or getting a significant discount, ads would be acceptable. I personally wouldn't take any more than about 5min/hour of ads though. If I'm paying, it must also include re-download rights. Perhaps restricted to off-peak, or with a small fee for using up said capacity, but a very small fraction of the original purchase price. I would also require that the episodes be made available by midnight of the original air date. If they want to compete with PirateBay and friends, they have to provide all of the above. People will pay for the convenience, quality, and knowing they are legal. Cause paying customers issues, and they will go elsewhere, or just not bother. The studios have the ability to take the online market by storm and keep it. They just have to step up. Not that they will.

    Streaming crap quality with encryption... Not interested.

  • I guess they're not getting enough resale value from those brains they're slurping.

  • I've already stopped watching them and have stopped using them as demos in my shop. No more recommendations.

  • which has the same shows. Why would I pay for this too? I use hulu every now and then. Usually when comcrap's service (which I'm paying for) craps out (the SA HD DVR is a piece of flaming shit). It's nice for when on the road too. But, really, I'm already paying for that content, so why would I pay for it again? I'm sure the cable companies don't want to pay for this... but aren't they already, and that's why they charge us?

  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:37PM (#28213861) Homepage

    Here are the conditions under which I will agree to pay my money for Hulu:

    1. No ads in the paid content. AT ALL. Not now, not ever.
    2. Cheap, a-la carte subscriptions for individual shows. If I only need a few shows from Discovery, Nickelodeon and Food Network, I should be able to sign-up for only those shows.
    3. Compatibility with an inexpensive hardware device of some sort (Apple TV, Xbox or PS3 will do).
    4. Content is served in _at least_ 720p with high encoding quality.

    These conditions are not negotiable. If all four are fulfilled, I, for one, will welcome our money charging overlords.

  • I would pay if... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperCharlie ( 1068072 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @05:03PM (#28214937)
    I dumped cable and live a-la-web tv. I pay for Netflix streaming and find it is worth it.

    If Hulu got rid of the stupid 5 trailing episodes thing and had full catalogs of the shows, got some decent movies, and got rid of the commercials I would pay. I *will not* pay for a special section that gets a few bones thrown in every month or if I have to put up with their 8 commercials over and over and over..holy crap water torture over and over.

    Go big, do it right, and I would pay.
  • Sounds great (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Myopic ( 18616 ) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:50PM (#28217251)

    This sounds pretty good, pretty smart. So long as there are no commercials on the site or in the videos, I would gladly pay a fair amount for a TV show. Say, maybe ten cents per episode, or a dollar for a whole season.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"