So now we’ll get an answer to the $9.99 question: will making TV shows available on consumer PCs and portable devices be enough to get those consumers to pay directly for TV shows? Shows they’re probably already getting for free or through their service provider. OK, wait, let’s put a real fine point on this question: Will consumers pay directly for TV shows – they likely get for free somewhere else — that include advertising?
Beats me but the joint venture that is Hulu (owned by News Corp, NBC-Universal and The Walt Disney Company), aims to find out. Users will pay $9.99/month and get to watch advertising. (On the other hand, cable subscribers and other pay-TV subscribers have been doing that for decades, so maybe this Hulu Plus thingie is just, well, a repackaging of an old idea?)
Maybe, maybe not. For $9.99/month and you can get entire seasons worth of current shows as well as back-catalog or shows which left the airwaves years ago. (The existing free product typically has the most recently aired show plus a few trailing episodes.) Users will also get to watch content in 720p HD on PCs and Macs, iPads, iPhones, a Samsung Internet-connected TV, Samsung BluRay players, and in the future, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft XBox gaming consoles. (Presumably here will be even more devices in the future).
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar described Hulu Plus as a “revolutionary ad-supported subscription product,” in this blog post.
Well, we’ll see if the magic translates into revenue and how the cable world’s “TV Everywhere” efforts stack up against Hulu Plus.