Even Hulu seems to have learned there is no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to content--even if that content is supported by paid advertising. The joint venture of News Corp., NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co. is reported to be developing a subscription service that it will roll out on multiple devices, including the Xbox and iPad.
Sources say Hulu's plan is to continue to provide newer episodes of programs for free but, like many newspapers, charge for older archived material. The thing is, most of that newer content can be found on the broadcast Web sites so it would be tough to offer it at a charge anyway.
The proposed model could run resistance from Hulu's primary viewership, according to data developed by market research firm Interpret which found that "online TV streaming is primarily done to catch up on missed current episodes" and that Hulu would do best to "diversify its content by branching out to include newer movies, sports programming and premium cable networks" rather than pressing forward with reruns of traditional TV.
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Rumor mill: Paid Hulu service for the Xbox
Hulu developing subscription model app for Apple's iPad