Hulu Already Working On The Technical Requirements For Subscription Service

Hulu On Tuesday, News Corps. chairman Rupert Murdoch and NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker, speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference, indicated that one day, Hulu may indeed have a subscription based service. While Murdoch was quoted as saying "no decisions have been made yet," sources I have spoken to have confirmed for me that Hulu is already beta testing a subscription based video service internally and is working out all of the technical details for the offering.

While it does not sound like the service will coming to the market anytime this year, the fact that Hulu is already working on the technical requirements and in particular, hard at work on how the authentication piece of a subscription based service would work, is a promising sign.

From what I'm being told, Hulu has a very clear plan for the offering from a technical standpoint, but still is not completely sure how to roll it out product wise or what exactly the business terms will be. While the technical piece of such an offering would have some complexity to it, the real challenging piece of the offering would be the business terms with content owners.

Since most companies are always testing new things internally, I'm not surprised Hulu's already working on this and while it's not a sign that a subscription based service is coming out anytime soon, it does show us that Hulu is a lot further along with the idea than they may say.

As of Thursday night, Hulu had not yet responded to my requests for them to comment on this subject.

  • Gudge

    Dear Hulu. Please go through with this plan. I’d pay $$ to get a hulu box attached to my tv. Or, better yet, Hulu on my xbox360. I would definitely cancel cable and pay for that.

  • greg

    if hulu chgs i wont come back to watch. i dont have cables and or tv i see eveything on the net. if it going to cost me ill buy a tv and put up a antena

  • Too many content providers are expecting to get paid via subscriptions or other consumer charges. Examples include, newspapers, Internet Radio, and now Hulu. In short, Internet users love the information highway, but its madness to think that they will pay a toll every five miles.
    Hulu would be better advised to develop “authentication” about the ads that *are* watched. Google AdWords has already demonstrated that sponsors will pay handsomely for ads that consumers actually click on. Similarly, Hulu could collect premium fees from sponsors by charging them only when ads are actually watched.

  • It does not sound like the service will coming to the market anytime this year, the fact that Hulu is already working on the technical requirements

  • Sorry friends, ad-based can only go so far. And if you’re careful to make your subscription-based content exclusive to your playground, you set the price of admission.
    If Mad Men and other top shows were only available in one place online, a subscription wall would provide instant monetization to counter the cannibalization of other revenue streams.

  • smartbrains

    Hulu has already pretty much licked the technical issues of the subscription video service, although Hulu execs are “not sure how to roll it out product-wise” or how best to strike new business deals with the various TV and movie content owners.

  • Hulu’s already a great service, creating availability on streaming devices like the ROKU box would make it a fantastic one.

  • Shame it has to go to subscriptions. I’ve seen various anime sites that still continue to provide the service using ad based methods. After so many hours viewing you have to watch a 5min advert with the option of getting rid of the adverts buy paying a subscription (something like $9 a month).

  • Aldo Vargas

    This decision will be very radical, At least we dont have to look 5min of advertising before watching the video we want to see.

  • WLD

    I don’t use hulu service yet, I think it is great to try it out..

  • BPR

    I like Hulu! If they charge I don’t think it would be so bad…In my opinion it’s worth it!

  • Hulu is great 🙂

  • I think ad based service better. Nobody likes subscriptions. I will use Hulu and see for myself.

  • I don’t use hulu service yet, I think it is great to try it out..

  • This would be awesome. I’d pay top dollar for hulu and add it to any possible device i can. let’s do this

  • Bud L.

    great post thanks

  • Squirrel

    I really like hulu I wouldn’t mind paying what they are asking.

  • tv on web

    Yes well they are the biggest website when it comes to television, that is for certain, and this gives them certain advantages … such as “staff” something small websites do certainly lack.