Hulu likely to begin charging for content as early as May
We certainly hope you’ve enjoyed watching all those old reruns of your favorite television shows on Hulu for free, because under the universal edict of Too Good To Last, the popular streaming site may begin charging for content as early as May 24. Under a proposal it’s currently considering according to the L.A. Times, Hulu users would still be able to access “the five most recent episodes of shows like Fox's Glee, ABC's Lost or NBC's Saturday Night Live” without being charged, but older episodes will only be available under a new $9.95-a-month subscription service known as Hulu Plus. (And presumably this would include the site’s vast store of archival episodes of Arrested Development, Firefly, Knight Rider, etc.) The decision to move forward with a pay-based plan is due to pressure from its owners—namely, News Corp., NBC Universal, and the Walt Disney Co.—to “train viewers to pay for online access to professionally produced content,” and thus avoid losing all of their revenues to free content providers the same way that the music and newspaper industry have. (Because certainly there’s no way to access free television other than on Hulu.) Also included is a plan for Hulu to “adopt the same commercial loads as network television,” which, frankly, doesn’t sound so great either. Welcome to the future of TV!