Spotted on DSLReports: The idea that consumers should get free anytime-access to TV shows — most that are free on broadcast TV anyway — just isn’t working out for News Corp., a part owner in the free Web TV phenom Hulu.com.
Chase Carey, News Corp.’s deputy chairman, said that Hulu needs to start charging, according to a Broadcasting & Cable report. Carey said this during the publication’s OnScreen summit. A move to start charging subscribers who flock to Hulu’s free offering of TV and movies could come as soon as next year, Carey told reporter Claire Atkinson.
“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,” Carey said. “Hulu concurs with that; it needs to evolve to have a meaningful subscription model as part of its business.”
NBC Universal, News Corp., The Walt Disney Company and Providence Equity Partners are part owners of Hulu.
Read the story: “Chase Carey: Hulu to Charge in 2010”
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Is this a bait and switch? Readers of the story snarkily point out other free TV options available to the public, like Babelgum.com. Or they demand that if Hulu starts charging, it needs to nix the TV commercials. Some say they’d be willing to pay $5 to $10 a month, others say no way!
At least Hulu has helped kick cable companies into action. Time Warner and Comcast plan to offer Web access to several TV shows on demand at no extra charge to paying customers, via the TV Everywhere service (read earlier story: “Time Warner plans to offer popular shows online — to paying customers.”