Hulu is planning on charging for at least some of its content starting as early as 2010, according to News Corp. Deputy Chairman Chase Carey. Broadcasting & Cable reported that Mr. Carey made the comments at the Broadcasting & Cable OnScreen Summit earlier this week, where he said, "It's time to start getting paid for broadcast content online."
Hulu is an online streaming video service offering TV shows and movies for free, supported by paid commercials that can't be skipped. The service is a joint project by NBCU, News Corp., and Disney, and it was started in part as an alternative to Apple's iTunes when NBC broke with Apple over a disagreement on pricing for TV shows on iTunes.
Mr. Carey, who sits in News Corp.'s seat on Hulu's board, said, "I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content. I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value,. Hulu concurs with that, it needs to evolve to have a meaningful subscription model as part of its business."
B&C said that not all content will be subscription based, and the intimation from Mr. Carey was that any fees cold initially be built around premium content. There was no hint as to whether or not commercials would be part of the subscription model the company is looking to implement.