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.