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Hulu for iPad, mobile may carry subscription fees

updated 11:30 am EST, Fri February 19, 2010

Hulu may be pay only beyond the web

Hulu's iPad-native player may come with a paid subscription attached, leaks hint today. The normally free web service would carry a rate to help prop up the presently cash-negative company and may include extras to make the subscription worth the investment. One studio executive, however, tells AllThingsD that access to Hulu beyond a computer may be considered enough.

It's also explained that any expansion into other devices, which could include other mobile hardware, is contingent on Hulu determining its business plan.

The streaming TV hub is already known to face a number of technical issues before it can get to handhelds like the iPad or iPhone. Without Flash, Hulu would need to either make a specific HTML5 website or a native app that accesses shows directly through a video format like H.264. If ads are still necessary, it would require using either more HTML code or an overlay to insert spots in between show segments.

Hulu has said in public that it wants to expand outside of its current format but has been under pressure from studios and TV providers to resist any moves that might make it easier to avoid more expensive but also more lucrative conventional TV, including attempts to ban Boxee from accessing the content outside of a web browser. Ad rates on regular TV channels are still typically much higher than on the web and consequently give networks like Disney or NBC little incentive to start a switch to the Internet, especially outside of computers.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. b9robot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2009


    I guess I won't use Hulu anymore

    I guess I won't use Hulu anymore, no one will pay for Hulu so they better think twice before they try this.

  1. jhawk95

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006


    Are they kidding?

    I won't pay for it. I already pay for that content thru AT&T U-Verse. Bye bye Hulu!

  1. bfalchuk

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2003


    I'd pay

    I would pay for it. I'm not a subscription fan, so I'd be most interested in buying the app for a one-time fee - like $19.99 at the highest. I think $9.99 would see almost every US iPhone pick up the app, though. That's a lot of money for Hulu.

  1. Voice of reason

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2010


    Not so fast ...

    The article states quite clearly, this "may come with a paid subscription attached", so if this comes to be, then it will be a monthly fee, not a one time hit.

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