free model

Hulu might die in 2010

Image representing hulu as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

The future of decabling is in trouble:

“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.”

To be clear, Carey is saying that much of the site’s content should remain free. Any paid content should add value for users and revenue for broadcasters, he explained — unlike some proposed “TV Everywhere” authentication schemes which give the same content through a different venue. Hulu premium products could include exclusives, previews, shortened windows, mobile and behind-the-scenes content ( New TeeVee).

Before I start freaking out, if they are going to charge for premium content, I don't have that much trouble with this.

The honest answer is, Murdock and the Mouse want to charge for all this content.  They see the end of the Television model where free, commercial based content is delivered into viewers homes and they do not want to have it replaced with another commercial based model.

If they had their way, they would charge for access and run the commercials too.

I really hope they are only talking about charging for premium content, but I seriously doubt it.

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NBC and Fox want to kill Hulu!

Image representing hulu as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

During a talk at an Internet Week event the other night, News Corp.’s chief digital officer, Jonathan Miller, suggested some of Hulu’s content might become available only to subscribers. Miller’s comments echoed NBC CEO Jeff Zucker’s words at the D7 conference last week where he said that a Hulu subscription was a possibility (New TeeVee).

Hulu is successful because it is like broadcast TV, free to anyone who picks up the signal... If Fox and NBC get their way, there are some people who will pay, but the majority will go back to P2P for their free TV.

How Paid Content on Hulu Might Work

The only way I could possibly see this working is if they left the standard definition content (up to the hi-res) free for anyone to watch and made the high definition (HD) a paid extra.  I think the hi res video is good enough to keep most people on the site, but the extra cost of sending HD video could be subsidized by those who really want it.

The only other way I could see this working is if they offered a commercial free Hulu as a paid service.  That is something even I might pay for.

If they make all of the content for pay, then Hulu will quickly go out of business.

The "Good" News

Hulu says they have no plans to switch from their free model to a paid one..  Cold comfort, but I'll take what I can get.

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