updated 09:30 am EDT, Thu April 22, 2010
Hulu Plus may use library as incentive for subs
Hulu is about to test a paid subscription service that would count on accessing its back library to drive business, a rumor late Wednesday said. The Hulu Plus plan would give the five most recent episodes of any TV show for free but would charge $10 per month for access to older episodes. When it would start wasn't said by the LA Times sources, but a trial service would start May 24th.
It's also not yet evident as to whether or not Hulu Plus would also allow for the rumored mobile plan for the iPad, tablets and smartphones.
Hulu is already profitable and doesn't need the subscription in the short term, but such a plan may be essential to keeping major TV networks interested in online video and potentially transitioning to it outright in the future. More frequent advertising and the sheer scale of traditional TV have accustomed Hulu's partners, including ABC/Disney, Fox and NBC, to significantly more revenue than what Hulu has managed so far.