Hulu has thrown down the gauntlet down in front of major Cable Companies. They announced today that they are launching a new paid subscription service for watching series TV on computers. Hulu Plus will cost $9.99 a month and initially will only be available to pre-selected subscribers. Hulu is not intending to replace what they already provide there will still be many TV programs streaming for free. The paid service will provide extra seasons to programming that is currently available and expand the episodes available of shows in current production.
The new service will be transportable to iPhones, videogame consoles and Blu-ray players. GE’s NBC Universal, News Corp and Walt Disney Co. who own such shows and “Modern Family” and “30 Rock” will be providing services and are primed to directly compete with an online service being planned by cable and satellite television called TV everywhere. Although many die hard television watchers will be impressed with this service. The new service will run as many ads as are currently seen on the free version and new show will still be available as they have been in the past, the morning after they premier the only difference is that they are expanding the content repository.
Hulu is priming itself to be among other companies offering internet streaming services such as Netflix, Inc. and Google’s You Tube. Although, Hulu’s chief executive Jason Kilar says that he sees Hulu Plus as a supplement and not a replacement for cable subscriptions. Current Hulu users can request an invitation to Hulu Plus online where users will be gradually converted. The goal is have the general public be able to join Hulu Plus just before the fall 2010 television season begins.
An obstacle that Hulu may face is that subscribers may not be willing to pay for older episodes when they can watch the new ones for free.