Hulu, the online video portal jointly owned by News Corp, NBC-Universal and Disney, is contemplating introducing a paywall for some its content, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
According to “people briefed on the plans”, there will be a $10.00 (€8.08) monthly subscription fee, and Hulu is “working to finalise agreements with content owners and hoping to wrap them up in the coming days.” The premium service would be available online, as well as to devices such as the iPad.
Since launching at the end of 2007, Hulu’s traffic has grown to reach 813 million unique streams in May, according to research by Nielsen. The company said in March that it generated over $100 million in revenue in 2009 and has been profitable since.
However, Hulu’s advertising income pales with the billion of dollars its three parent companies earn, so the pressure is on to increase revenues. The big question will be if people are willing to fork out money for the convenience of watching on-demand programming which is otherwise available free to view.