Hulu has been talking about plans to launch a paid subscription service for months now, and it looks like the new paid service will finally become a reality. According to inside sources, the site is likely to launch the new service next week. Read more after the jump and get ready to pay for your Hulu content!
CNET reported today that Hulu is now finalizing its plans to launch their new subscription service and “people familiar with the company said a beta test of ‘Hulu Plus’ could launch as early as next week.” However, Hulu Plus may only be available to a select group of people at first. According to CNET an inside source says that the beta service may be available to as few as 10,000 people.
There is currently no information about when paid Hulu service will be released to the general public. However, CNET reports that Hulu’s network owners, including NBC, ABC and Fox, are still working out rights deals for certain network shows so their may be gaps in the Hulu catalog when the beta launches, or the launch date may have to be pushed back. The launch has taken a long time and has seen continual pushbacks, as many network owners are concerned that Hulu Plus could take a bite out of their offline business, including television advertising and DVD sales.
Hulu Plus should be fantastic for the site when it comes to revenue. The site is currently turning a good profit from video advertising on the site and is likely to generate more than $200 million in revenue by the end of 2010. With the addition of a paid service the site will be able to increase their revenue a huge amount, though we won’t know for certain by how much until the new service launches and we see how many people decide to pay for it.
When Hulu Plus eventually launches will you pay for the service? What is your opinion about paying for online video content in general?