Hulu confirms pay-TV plans, says it's 'not a declaration of war' on cable

Hulu chief executive Mike Hopkins has confirmed that his company is developing a streaming pay-TV service.

"There is a paradox of choice that is out there today with the number of channels that are available," Hopkins told the New York Times. "It is not intuitive or easy always to find them, particularly on your mobile device. We are going to try to solve that by making it more personalized. How do we make it so personalized that we are thinking ahead for you so that you don't have to?"

Details like pricing are still being worked out. Those close to the project say Hulu is targeting a monthly subscription cost of around $40.

Hulu joint venture partners Disney and Fox will contribute their broadcast networks to the platform, as well as popular cable channels including ESPN and FX. The third Hulu partner, Comcast/NBCU is said to be still in talks about making its networks accessible. 

Hopkins was asked by the Times if incumbent MVPDs will view the platform as a "declaration of war."

"It is not a declaration of war on anyone," he responded. "I don't think we are designing this for people that are really happy with their pay TV service. This is designed for the people that the marketplace is concerned are falling out of love with pay TV. We want to have a product for them."

While announcing a range of original programming decisions at its upfront presentation to advertisers Wednesday morning in New York, Hulu revealed that it now has 12 million subscribers.

Despite its fast growth and significant market share, Hopkins said there's no guarantee Hulu — or any other streaming service, for that matter — will survive without rapid evolution to keep up with the market.

"We're in this phase where a lot of people are going to launch these and test and see how they work," he told NYT. "Over time, not all of them will last. It is not an easy business to be in. You are direct to consumer. Every single day you have to make people happy enough to stay a subscriber. It is very easy to sign up and it is very easy to cancel."

For more:
- read this New York Times story
- read this CED Magazine story

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