It’s a sad time for free TV–loving online vid fans. Looks like Hulu’s going to start implementing fees.
According to remarks made by Chase Carey, an exec at News. Corp (which co-owns Hulu), the changeover to a pay or subscription model could come as soon as next year. Sadly, this will probably cover mobile access as well as desktop, so no matter how you connect, this could affect you.
The only good news here (if you can call it that) is what the range of paid content will cover: Carey indicated that there will still be some free vids, so at least the whole site won’t be behind a fee wall. What that will be is not exactly clear yet, though.
(Massive bummer. By the time my iPhone is actually able to play Hulu, I’ll have to pay for episodes of Glee. That just stinks.)
Could this signal the end of the site’s popularity? Others online seem to think that if some changes get made, it might be worth paying for. Like providing content that can’t be gotten anywhere else. Or offering a revamped delivery mechanism that’s so compelling (and stupid simple), that people are willing to nab it for the convenience factor. Oh, and commercials would have to go away, like completely. Basically, since a lot of its current content is available elsewhere (like on the networks’ sites themselves), there has to be some unique value to getting it through Hulu. But whether any of that will happen remains to be seen.
We’ll know for sure after the New Year.