Has online video catch up service Hulu placed the first brick in its Hulu Plus pay wall?
Bloomberg reports that a Samsung 6500 series LED TV purchased at a New York Best Buy last week carried a promo inviting users to subscribe to a $9.99 per month Hulu Plus service.
The news service said a software update a day after the TV was purchased removed an on-screen message that read: "More episodes, more seasons, more shows," and asked viewers to use a (non-functional) website to enter an access code and supply an email link.
Hulu declined comment.
The service has been at the center of an ocean of rumors for months that it would soon be offering a premium service. First, it was rumored it would be made available on the iPad, then it was rumored to be coming to the Xbox, then the PS3, and now, apparently, connected TVs are in the mix.
The pace and breadth of Hulu rumors continue to grow. That a premium service is coming is obvious. But the 'when' and 'what-platform' questions remain unanswered. Hulu would be a major piece in the move toward TV Everywhere for a number of programmers, but it could impact the rollout of those services for cable and telco providers who would have less control over content than they would ideally like.
Hulu, which is owned by a triumverate of Disney, News Corp. and NBC Universal, rang up more than one billion video views in May, according to comScore. It's the only site, aside from YouTube, that's approached that benchmark.
Hulu also has been making news in its talks with Viacom, CBS and Time Warner to add their content to its catch-up service.
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