Hulu Plus, the new paid subscription service of free Internet TV provider Hulu, has polarized industry watchers. Cord-cutting advocates see it as the beginning of the end for cable; the anti-cable crowd doesn't think it goes far enough in that direction; and Hulu CEO Jason Kilar puts it in the safe zone of a broadcast service that augments pay TV.
"Hulu Plus as it exists now is a complete waste of money unless you have an iPad but no television. However, with a few small tweaks--adding cable shows would be a good start--this could well be the model for a la carte television that satellite and cable providers have been fending off for years," suggested a blogger at Warming Glow.
Dream on, said always-cynical Karl Bode at DSL Reports. Hulu, he suggests, is "trying very hard not to upset anybody (and to) re-enforce the cable industry belief that Internet video is but a silly, pesky nuisance--and that cord-cutters are a fairy tale akin to unicorns."
Both perspectives are wrong, says Kilar, who told Peter Kafka of Digital Media, "When we launched Hulu, everybody was saying, ‘Oh, this is going to be a substitute for pay TV in the living room. And I think people may say the same thing here. But it would be wrong." Hulu Plus, he said, is "a broadcast-focused service" that is not a "substitute for cable or satellite service. It's not a product that can serve that need," he concluded.
Is Hulu a threat to Netflix? Maybe, but it's more likely a challenge to TV Everywhere
Hulu launches premium service, includes iPad, iPhone, PS3, Xbox 360