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Summary:

Hulu’s paid subscription service has been in the works for months, and the site is reportedly ready to roll it out to a limited number of users next week. Part of the $9.95 offering could be an iPad app as well as support for game consoles.

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Hulu is about to start a paid service dubbed Hulu Plus any day now, according to reports from Peter Kafka and The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, Hulu is in negotiations to deliver the offering to users of Sony’s Playstation Network, according to Bloomberg.

Both announcements are apparently imminent, with the Journal reporting that the paid service could start as early as “later this month,” Kafka agreeing that it could start “next week” and Bloomberg saying that the cooperation would Sony “could be announced as soon as next week.”

There have been rumors about Hulu Plus for months now, and first reports about an iPad app surfaced in March. However, details are still scarce. Here’s what we do know:

  • The service will cost $9.95 per month.
  • It will offer access to a larger back catalog of content.
  • It will run on additional devices currently not supported by Hulu, including Apple’s  iPad and potentially Microsoft’s Xbox as well as Sony’s Playstation.
  • Hulu’s basic service will remain free for all of its users.

Hulu Plus may also eventually offer access to shows that previously weren’t available on Hulu, with rumors pointing towards negotiations with CBS. Viacom, who just removed all of its content from Hulu a few months ago, also signaled that it was willing to rethink its stance on Hulu if and when the economic model of the site changes.

However, it’s doubtful that any of these potential content partners will be available as part of a launch next week, which will reportedly be rolled out as a closed beta test limited to as few as 10,000 subscribers.

Related content on GigaOm Pro: New Business Models For Pay TV Services (subscription required)

  1. Any chance this will be available on Roku? Or does Hulu see the Roku-Netflix connection as a competitive threat?

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  2. [...] Hulu Plus Coming to iPad, Xbox & Playstation Next Week? [...]

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  3. This is quite interesting.
    Does anyone know if Hulu, can they do streaming DRM content to an iPhone app without having to pay Apple for the privilege?

    I suppose, Apple would want their 30% cut of the monthly deal if sent via the iDevices. Deal killer really. Its why all the content owners are saying they want to keep flash alive. Competition for content distribution technology.

    And people wonder why Steve wants to kill Flash, the only alternative and much cheaper for the content owner.

    It amazes me how the religious ignorants just take what steve says as gospel, and not SPIN.

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    1. Curtis Carmack Monday, June 28, 2010

      Steve is pushing HTML 5, which will allow native browser support for various video encodings. Thus Hulu and others could stream directly to the browser on the iPhone and iPad without using an app. This is already working with many YouTube and Vimeo videos. There is no impediment to charging for such services and no way for Apple to take a cut.

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      1. Ryan Lawler Monday, June 28, 2010

        Curtis – This is true, but Hulu has already said that it doesn’t plan to support HTML5 video anytime soon, due to lack of content security and advertising support.

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  4. [...] NewTeeVee has the following listed as probably points of information regarding the upcoming service change: [...]

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  5. [...] NewTeeVee, ITVT, Slashgear, All About Jazz Tags: cable tv, future of tv, how to watch tv online, hulu, hulu [...]

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  6. Yes Exactly Ryan.
    I have been trying to get this point across to the Media in comments all over the Web. Dropping flash makes as much common sense as dropping GIF once PNG was announced, not even finished. That would be considered insane.
    However as Steve has hamstring Flash on OSX and then blamed Adobe (Read the flash programmers blogs, this is an API issue that Apple refuses to make available. Main reason for Flash on OSX issues)
    Put it in Jason Calacanis speak, “Steve is a good lier”.
    The real push by Steve on HTML5 is to remove all competitive Premium video distribution technology from the Web, leaving Apple.
    Considering what happened to Music industry, A VERY BAD MOVE.

    Wake up everyone. This has nothing to do with whats better or open, its all about control/money.

    If Steve was really about whats better for us and openness. He would be for WebM not against it.

    James

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