Hulu Plus Arrives, So What's Next?
When Hulu Plus became official at the beginning of last week, a common concern was that the service costs $9.99/month and still includes ads. Many people felt like it should have ads, or have a subscription fee, but not both. (In case you missed the announcement, Hulu Plus is a new service that provides full seasons of shows and which is aimed at devices such as the iPad, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360 game consoles, and certain Internet-enabled televisions.)
Well, these concerns may be addressed, after a fashion. In a chat with Om Malik, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said the company was "comfortable with the idea of offering a higher-priced version if there is demand from customers." No other details were offered.
Now, my sense is that the people who have a problem with the existing Hulu Plus model really want a $9.99/month service with no ads. That doesn't appear to be in the cards. So I'm asking my readers: how much would you be willing to pay for Hulu Plus Prime (I just made that name up): a service with the same content as Hulu Plus, but no ads? $10.99/month? $14.99? $19.99? How high could Hulu go and still keep you interested?
Or is Hulu Plus already too expensive, given than you can get Netflix unlimited, ad-free streaming for less than Hulu Plus with ads? The difference is that Netflix, for the most part, has older shows. As a rule of thumb, if it isn't out on DVD, it isn't on Netflix streaming (though there are exceptions). Hulu Plus generally offers shows the morning after they air. So if you're the type of TV viewer who likes to gather at the watercooler and talk about this week's episode of Warehouse 13 (which had a great season 2 premiere the other night, by the way) then the extra cash for Hulu Plus might be worth it for you. You'll still miss the morning after conversation, but with so many of us time-shifting our shows these days I'm finding that morning after TV conversations are fading for fear of spoilers. Now we have 'earlier this week' TV conversations instead.
If you're interested in more discussion about Hulu, Malik has a second post where Kilar talks about Netflix, broadband partners, and Hulu on devices. It's an interesting read.
In the meantime, has anyone signed up for Hulu Plus yet? I requested an invite but so far, no joy.