Hulu Will Charge in 2010 But Will Consumers Pay?

Maureen Alley
by Maureen Alley 23 Oct, 2009

Current TV reports that Hulu will start charging for online videos in 2010. The news comes out of a summit in New York City this week where Chase Carey, deputy chairman of News Corp. said the company would likely offer a subscription model for online viewing starting next year. Currently the online video site provides videos of TV shows and movies for free.

This news comes the same day eMarketer released information about a new survey by The Diffusion Group on fee versus free online video. According to the results, only 4.6 percent of respondents said they would "definitely" pay for online TV service whereas 30.7 percent "definitely" would not. And, 6.7 percent would "definitely" pay for movie streaming, whereas 22.3 percent definitely would not.


The rest of the survey breaks down for paid TV viewing: 18 percent somewhat likely to pay; 23.7 percent neither likely nor unlikely; 22.9 percent somewhat unlikely. And the break down for paid movie watching is: 24.8 percent somewhat likely to pay; 26.1 neither likely nor unlikely; and 20.2 somewhat unlikely.

The juxtaposition of these two announcements on the same day is interesting. And, the trend of online viewership is growing as numbers from comScore keep hitting record numbers.

So, would you be willing to pay to watch online videos? Does your answer change for TV vs. movies?


UPDATE: Christina Lee from Hulu responded to our request for confirmation about the news from Current TV. "Hulu's mission has always been to help people find and enjoy the world's premium, professionally produced content. We continue to believe that the ad-supported, free service is the one that resonates most with the largest group of users and any possible new business models would serve to complement our existing offering. There are no details or timelines to share regarding our future product roadmap," says Christina Lee, Hulu.