Hulu to Implement $9.95 Fee for Some of Its Services

Apr 22, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Hulu’s a television addict’s dream, allowing consumers to view episodes of classic TV such as "The Rockford Files" or newer hits including "Glee" for free from any Internet-connected device.

But as early as May 24, Hulu will start testing a subscription service charging $9.95 per month to access the site’s library, the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog reports. The Times said it gets its information "according to people with knowledge of the plans."

Viewers who only watch the most recent episodes of current hits will not be affected by this fee; the five most recent episodes of shows ranging from "Lost" to "Saturday Night Live" would remain free.

With sales of about $100 million in advertising, the two-year old service is eager to tap other revenue streams, especially as the media giants behind it (News Corp., NBC Universal and the Walt Disney Co.) are fearful of following in the footsteps of the newspaper and music industries, which lost sales as consumers opted for free recordings, articles and classified ads on the Web.

Hulu did not comment to the Times on its report.


  1. Mixed feelings. It’s about business but this $9.95 is only worth it for shows that you can’t get elsewhere (networks sites and/or DVD).

  2. Memo to self: Make it through all the cool classic TV by May 24.
    For $10/mo., the carrot should be “commercial free”. Unfortunately, the coming Hulu fee is like the VAT, which is supposed to replace an income tax but will only add onto it.
    Moreover, who seriously believes that once Hulu proves up the size and commitment of its audience, it won’t gradually creep in more and more commercials? Occasional 30 second breaks are fine, but I expect 45s-1m breaks (and/or more frequent breaks) within 6-18 mos. of May 24, at which point the value proposition to the viewer will prove irreparably buggered.

  3. Seems like a fairly high price and certainly unprecedented. If Hulu became truly a repository of television shows (all episodes, not just some of them)with open access, might be actually worth it for a lot of people. With commercials? Not so much. There are obviously people clamoring for classic TV and if the distributors can figure out some way to fairly and reasonably monetize this desire, that’s good for everybody, fans and the corporate entities alike. If it’s not fair, then fans will turn to other outlets, as they already do. Plus, international viewers who love U.S. TV need to be able to gain access to Hulu.

  4. I agree with the Nose. Since they’ve been offering the bait for free, the ten buck switch is a big leap. They should have started with a mere five bucks, reel them in, and land them with ten after a couple years.

  5. $9.95, and the commercials are still there? That’s called basic cable TV.
    RIP Hulu. I ain’t payin’.

  6. So “about 100 million dollars” isn’t enough?

  7. The real issue is how big a library can they put together by that date. If I am able to see every episode of SNL and all of the NBC, Universal, Disney and Fox Studio programs for the last 60 years it may begin to be worth it. I often spend that much a month at Amazon buying individual episodes at 99cents each.

  8. So, when are these hoseheads gonna post the entire Jack Benny television show program catalog?
    I’ll pay to see that. “Highway Patrol”‘s cool, but it ain’t Jack Benny…

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