Hulu’s popularity continues to climb (at least according to comScore), but that growth could soon hit a (pay) wall if recent talk by News Corp. (s NWSA) and NBC (s GE) come to pass. Each of those Hulu co-owners have recently dropped the S-bomb (that would be “subscription”) when talking about the future in general and moneymaking prospects of the premium content portal in particular.
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.
Granted, these comments were speculation on the parts of Miller and Zucker, and are not to be taken as a concrete road map for Hulu, but since both NBC and News Corp. have some control over Hulu, this chatter can’t be ignored.
The idea of a Hulu subscription seems to fly in the face of what Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said at our NewTeeVee Live Conference last year. During his keynote, Kilar talked about premium content as an impulse decision, and of removing barriers that make it harder to consume. Additionally, he drove home the fact that advertising was an $80 billion business and Hulu’s greatest opportunity lay within that pool of money.
The industry has subscriptions on the brain right now, with studios, networks and multiservice operators all trying to figure out ways to put the “premium” back in premium content.
Regardless, if Hulu was to charge a subscription fee to access certain content, would you pay? If so, how much?