Hulu to start charging in 2010

At an industry summit in NYC on Oct. 21, News Corp Deputy Chairman Chase Carey revealed that online video hub Hulu will begin charging users for content as soon as 2010, according to Broadcasting and Cable. Carey told reporters that a subscription system is likely, although some content will probably continue to be offered free of charge. “I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content. I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value,” he said.

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Comments (549 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 27
  • Alyssa

    this is awful news!!!

    • anthony

      seems pretty unnanimous, a charging hulu, is a traffic free site!

      • CrayZ-1

        Google project free TV they got free movies and free TV show. F*ck Hulu.

      • Ellie

        who will pay for Hulu? It might be illegal, but you can find any show online – for free.

        This is such a stupid business move.

      • austin

        agreed. hulu will never make it as a pay site. they might’ve had a shot at being an pay-for on-demand service if they teamed up with cable providers, but they’re going to run into the paywall blues like every other stupid site that tries this nonsense.

      • Jamie

        I have a feeling that if they end up charging users, it will be for more premium content that is currently unavailable. If they want to start charging people to watch shows like The Office, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Late Night, etc. they will just lose all that traffic and thus lose money from their sponsors. Users can already find that content for free elsewhere online, and sometimes those other sites even host more content than just a few back episodes.

      • Morgana

        I agree, horrible idea. Like many others said you can pretty much find all of the shows featured on hulu elsewhere for free, but what keeps people coming back to hulu is the quality and quantity, charging will just drive people way…

      • tim

        i think nbc is overestimating the value of their shows. no one will pay for terrible snl sketches or 500 hours of leno. plus a free hulu leads to people watching their network. hulu is where i found great shows like andy barker, pi which… nbc cancelled. oh nevermind. they’re hopeless. they’re also developing a comedic action series… uhhh, chuck? just don’t kill my thursday comedies. leave them alone!

    • Billy

      thus marks the end of hulu

      • kitkat18

        Exactly. That’s a huge mistake. I know that I’ll be done with Hulu in 2010. Enjoy these last FREE months everyone.

      • Kevin

        Agreed. The entire point of Hulu is the ability to watch videos for free with the only catch to watch a few small paid advertisements. What will the point be to watch anything on their site if you have to pay for it, when you can go directly to other sites and see it for free?

      • J.M.

        I doubt Hulu will charge for every show, unless they want their scheme to backfire. It might work better for them to charge for “commercial free” or “episodes older than the trailing 5 episodes”.

    • Olga

      Yea it is awful news! I will totally stop using hulu when it starts charging, the only reason i used it in the first place was because its free! If all online video places start charging for you to watch the videos i will just stop watching the shows, then what will that do to the networks? I bet they haven’t thought about that, if you start charging, will you lose viewers?

      • Shane

        No. No they wont. It’s called cable.

      • Alex

        Yes. Yes they will. You don’t think shows like “Sopranos” or “Shield” would have been in the top 10 in ratings if they were on network tv? Hence, Olga’s right, you charge, you loose viewers.

    • Paul

      Awful for Hulu. Not for me. I hate Hulu anyhow. They do crap like try to make it seem that you can watch Project Runway (among others) and what they really have are page after page of 10 second clips or commercials. B.S.
      They also make you register and log in to watch shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Puhleeaze, mofos. Go kick rocks.

      • Katie

        That’s not entirely true. There are some types of shows (more mature ones with higher averages of language, violence, and sexual content not appropriate for children), but as far as entire episodes vs. clips, they make it pretty clear that some shows you can only watch clips and no episodes, like Project Runway which you mentioned.

    • aj simon

      im going to miss watching simon and simon, rockford files, and silver spoons; oh well, it was fun while it lasted, but they must be on crack if they think people will pay to use hulu

    • AcaseofGeo

      What the heck is HULU??????

      • Ashaloo

        No one will know after 2010!

    • Matt1


    • eyer8

      I didnt understand the spokespersons comment, so I used Google translate…

      “I think a free model is a very difficult way to overcharge without consequences. I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will believe our inflated pricing is justified even though we can make bank off of advertising dollars. We want to find ways to rebuild the former monopoly structure.”

  • Brigid

    …and I will stop using Hulu in 2010

    • Julius


      • Mireya

        Definetely. Hulu is part of my daily morning ritual of watching Conan O’Brien and Modern Family.
        This sucks eggs.

      • michaela

        yup…there goes hulu >:(

    • Laura

      You got it!

      I’ve recently discovered “torrents” for TV shows (I know, I know…I’m wayyy behind!). But seriously, why would I EVER bother watching on Hulu when I can watch torrented shows, in HD quality, on my computer/iPod/TV *anytime* I want with no ads?

      Ta-ta Hulu!

      • s-k-s

        Because torrents are illegal?

      • cidknee

        because torrents take time to download and hulu is instant. You are way behind, after a few years you’ll find there’s a place for hulu.

      • jack hart


      • Ryan Peach

        because torrents are illegal and you shouldn’t steal content, also they are slow. I wouldn’t pay for hulu though, I would just keep cable and tivo, just don’t steal it.

      • Joey

        I dont see how torrents for tvrips of shows that air on the local networks is illegal. they are free to watch on tv, so why should the be illegal online? its a bigger crime to charge for those same shows when they arent the dvd version. now, downloading dvd rips of tv shows, or shows from showtime, hbo, etc, yeah, thats illegal since you have to pay for those in the first place. but network tv shows? i see nothing wrong getting those.

      • Michael Dance

        Did you people all time travel here from 2004? By the way…

        “I dont see how torrents for tvrips of shows that air on the local networks is illegal. they are free to watch on tv, so why should the be illegal online?”

        …is the stupidest thing I’ve read online today, congratulations.

      • Giovanni

        Joey, it’s because shows on TV are supported by commercial programming. Nothing is done for free in the entertainment industry.

      • Jill

        Nothing is free except use of the airwaves by networks in the first place.

      • Adam

        @Jill, Network Broadcasters pay ridiculous costs to the FCC for the licenses to use those airways, which are regulated by the governemnt. First rule of economics: Nothing is Free.

      • Nick T

        Torrents rule, they ARE LEGAL, and they play on stuff other than your PC.

      • josh

        Torrents aren’t illegal. Some big companies use them, a lot of people use torrents for regular, free, programs. Now they get illegal when they put PAID programs in the torrents.

        But anyway, I’ll stop using Hulu also. I could make a better site anyhow.

      • Tom

        Torrents are legal.
        The sharing of copyrighted material is not.
        It is legal to download copyrighted material.
        It is illegal to upload copyrighted material.

        Signed a guy who works for your ISP and bust you.

      • Cryptkeeper

        Tom quit being a tool.

        You get to star in a tale I like to call “Fall Of The Narcy”!

        Hee Hee Heee!

    • Lance


    • Kim


    • Jenseny

      Well, wave hulu! I’ll miss watching these shows

    • Jonathan

      Gam Ani
      (Me too)
      guess they don’t get enough from the advertisers they want some from us as well. too bad

    • Ace

      And no one will remember what “Hulu” stands for by 2011.

  • Shannon


    • martha

      my thoughts exactly lol


  • Brandon

    goodbye hulu!

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  • Tyre

    I’ve always loved corporate doublespeak. “I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content. I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value,” . In other words, you guys don’t appreciate free, now you’ll appreciate free once we charge…

    • anna nymous

      Yeah, me too. Just not when it concerns and affects the products and services I use.

      All those people using hulu now would go flocking back to youtube. Let’s see how these executives will like it then.

    • CJ

      It’s more like, we can make waaay more money if we charge you. And then WE will appreciate YOU more. So greedy!

    • Shasta

      But it’s not FREE! They’re still showing ADS! So, they are making money off those ads. I mean, if the shows were ad-free, I could understand, but I still have to sit through stupid eyelash enhancement commercials to get through a 20 minute sitcom. And then it buffers the whole time. Thanks a lot, HULU. I used it a lot this year, but this year it’s a such a PITA, I barely check it out anymore.

      • Kevin

        Free does not mean they are not earning any money. Free means we are not paying for it.

      • NotSoSure

        Free means we’re not paying for it only if you disregard the “time is money” principle. And considering the fact that the industry employs that principle, we should as well. Nobody’s time is worthless.

      • jim

        nbc runs an episode of the office twice or three times a year. The ads on hulu still arent enough to make them money. More Biggest Loser and Leno.

      • Sean

        They don’t make all that much money from ads on Hulu, actually — at least as compared to what they make for a broadcast/cable run of the same show. Online distribution is still small potatoes, dollar-wise, in the world of television.

      • Philip

        Are you really discussing the opportunity costs of sitting down and watching a television show? At the end of a concert should the band pay me for my time?

      • mik

        Wow, Philip, you don’t understand economics.

    • Katyo

      Thanks Tyre. I was coming to post exactly that but you did it for me. I loathe corporate doublespeak, it’s sickeningly transparent. Appreciate the content more, my a**!

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  • Horatio

    Not interested if they will continue to run ads, but perhaps $5/month with no ads (ala Netflix streaming) would be worth it.

    • Kelly

      I agree. If it’s inexpensive enough it’s worth it for legal viewing.

    • Me

      I imagine they’ll keep the ads in the shows, still. I mean, you pay for cable and still get commercials (LOTS of them) on non-broadcast stations…

    • Sludge

      $5/month would be worth the content if it stays as it is or gets better.

  • Maddi

    Coincidentally, that is exactly the time I have decided to stop watching Hulu.

    • Emma

      LOL! You and everyone else.

  • Liz

    Boo, break my heart. I’ll miss Hulu but there are other websites that do the same thing. I enjoyed Hulu but will not pay for shows. If I wanted to pay to watch TV I’d get cable.

    • jcdc13

      Yes, and with no commercials!

  • Andy G.

    This is an incredibly stupid idea. The whole appeal of Hulu is that it’s free. If they start charging, people are just going to go back to illegal downloading to get their content.

    • Kristy

      Agreed. They’re going to lose out on an opportunity to make money off of consumers and reward them for doing it legally. If their traffic is high enough they should use the stats to charge advertisers more. If their stats aren’t that high, I don’t see them making money by charging consumers.

      • peter

        I like your reasoning.

    • Itzuki

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  • Alix

    Adios, Hulu!

  • hudson

    In other words, when its free we don’t make enough profit off the ads so we need to move to a more lucrative model.

    I understand that companies have to make money to stay in business, but I wonder how many people will be willing to make the switch from free to paid while there are other services out there that offer similar content, still for free. I guess it will depend on what the subscription price is and what they offer for your money … such as making the programming commercial free? If I’m paying extra for something others offer for free, there better be a really good hook.

    • The Dude

      It’s only a matter of time before those other sites jump on the subscription fee bandwagon.

  • travis

    so will the content be advertisement free? I guess I’ll defiantly be using Itunes for all my TV content.

  • deansrevival

    that is complete crap! Goodbye hulu, time to start looking for a new website : (

  • mary

    Hulu will be gone by 2011 if they start charging. People don’t like paying for things they can get free elsewhere.

  • Kathryn

    This is a horrible idea! People can always watch the videos on Hulu for free somewhere.

    • Courtney

      I can understand being upset but I think you’re overstating things to say we “pay” by watching ads. It’s not even like they show that many ads in the 1st place, especially compared to actual TV

      And people already pay to download shows on iTunes so I’m sure this decision won’t kill Hulu.

      People need to calm down. This entitled attitude is a little ridiculous. I love free things too, but I don’t think there is an expectation that everyone should get free viewing privileges on the internet.

      • LC

        I, like everyon else, feel entitled because they now want me to pay for the exact same service I received for free! Hulu is cool because it’s free. Once they charge people they’ll be like every other website that shows tv shows.

      • Josh

        “This entitled attitude is a little ridiculous.”


      • Randy

        Are Courtney and Josh the only folks here that understand economics? How long do you think those other “free” sites can fund quality content productions without generating profits. You folks do understand that profits are the source of reinvestment into additional content and/or quality improvements, right?

        LC, you do not have a right to the labor of others without exchanging commensurate value, period. Anything else is theft unless the product/service is given away by the creator.

        The ignorance of this “everything should be free” group still astounds me. Do you not understand that all resources utilized in production have a cost? Someone has to cover those costs.

        There are many ways to cover those costs and prosper — but that decision is the right of the creator, not the consumer. Creation before distribution — learn it, love it, live it.

      • Eric

        The decision to charge or not is the right of the creator. The decision to pay for the service or not is the right of the customer.

        If Hulu wants to start charging, that’s fine, but that does not mean I think their product is worth the price. For me, TV is free, I only watch broadcast TV, I am not willing to pay for TV. I don’t think I’m entitled to free content, but I would rather not have it than pay for it.
        If they start charging for Hulu, I won’t use it.

      • mik

        If it’s still profitable to fund a site like Hulu through advertisements, another site will probably come in to take Hulu’s place if they go to a paid service. Especially if nobody is willing to pay for the service.

      • Joe

        It’s not an entitlement attitude on my part. They have every right to charge. And I have every right to not pay. For everyone that responds like I will, that is one less person watching the ads that currently fund Hulu. If they did not already have a revenue stream, that would be one thing; but they do and simply want more.

      • Lindsay

        First of all, consumers ALWAYS have a sense of entitlement. Anyone who has ever worked in retail, restaurants, etc. will tell you the same. I’m not saying that its a reasonable way of thinking, I’m just saying its inevitable. It makes sense to an extent because they are the ones who are handing over their hard-earned cash for the exchange of goods/services that may or may not be worth it. They have been jaded one too many times by the shoddy quality of that $90 sweater they bought or the crap they go through with their cell phone provider when the stupid thing just quits working on them. No one should expect things to just “be free” but its easy to see why people cultivate that entitled attitude after being screwed so many times.

        In my case, I do not feel entitled to free content online. However, Hulu chose to give me free content online (with advertisements sprinkled throughout so that they would make some money off the whole thing) and I was pretty happy about that. I started watching Hulu pretty often because it was free and convenient. I watched some shows on Hulu that I never got around to watching before because of the fact that their timeslots conflicted with the timeslots of other shows I watched/DVR’d. It was nice. However, it was not so nice that I would be willing to start forking over a monthly subscription in order to use it. That is the problem here, and the reason for the outcry against these bozos who would dare to say something so condescending as “we need to deliver that content in a way where they will appreciate it.” I think the problem is that this guy has OVER-appreciated the worth of the content. I don’t feel like it is worth it to me to pay to watch shows on Hulu when I am already paying to watch those same shows through my cable provider and to DVR those shows and then, when those shows come out on DVD, buying them so that I can watch them whenever I want to. I would say that most people who use Hulu are already paying for cable and buying DVDs (or using illegal means to obtain this content). So why would any of us feel inclined to pay for this content AGAIN? It just seems like a bad idea. I guess if they really upped their game and added more exclusive content it might be worth it to me to pay $5 a month (though probably not any more than that)but I don’t really see that happening. As it is, Hulu has become almost completely worthless to me at the moment because I used it primarily to re-watch the latest season of Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Now that the season is over they have started featuring episodes from previous seasons. I already have those on DVD so I have no desire to watch them on Hulu, with ads. I DVR’d some of the latest eps though and I can still watch those whenever I want to. So, clearly, the value of cable+DVR is much greater than the value of Hulu at this point. If Hulu could provide me the opportunity to “record” my favorite episodes and watch them at my convenience an unlimited number of times at a lower price than my cable provider, now that would rouse my interest…

      • James

        No it’s not. You pay cable and get commercials, most noncommercial channels you have to pay for. You pay for internet connection and get hulu and get commercials. It’s not all that hard to comprehend. Now if you can pay and not have commercials that’s all good, I still won’t pay because I don’t spend money on pay-per-view, hbo, etc. on regular cable.

    • fastcars

      I will just go to it just like this site and it free this site sucks anyway dum to charge to view how gay this will be

      • jim

        It was good while it lasted. . . I will be going elsewhere now

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