Jason Kilar, the CEO at Hulu made a number of notable announcements at the Hulu blog yesterday. First and foremost, Hulu Plus is coming out of preview mode and has now launched to the public. To mark this announcement, Hulu has slashed the monthly pricing of Hulu Plus subscription from $9.99 a month to $7.99 a month. Existing subscribers shall consequently be credited with the difference in the next billing cycle.
The latest move is definitely an aggressive move from Hulu to increase their share of paying subscribers. Apart from the slashed rates, the company is also bringing a number of other special offers to incentivize users to subscriber to the monthly plans
• One free week trials for all new subscribers. In addition, current subscribers who joined during the preview period will receive a credit for one week of Hulu Plus toward their next month’s subscription.
• Two free weeks of Hulu Plus for both current subscribers and friends they invite through our referral program. Subscribers can learn more by clicking on the “Referrals” tab on their Hulu profile page.
• 11 weeks ($20 worth) of free Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Sony BRAVIA connected TV or Blu-ray player through January 31, 2011. (See sony.com/huluplus.)
• One free month of Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Roku device through December 15, 2010. (See roku.com/hulu.)
If you are a Hulu subscriber with an iOS device, do not forget to check out their latest update as well.
Until now, you had to be a member of the Sony PlayStation Plus family in order to be able to watch videos from the TV streaming service over your gaming console. No longer; if you are in the United States. Sony has announced that this facility has now been opened up for all PlayStation 3 users in the country and that they do not need to be a PlayStation Plus user to avail the service.
This however does not mean you get to have all of this for free. Users must still sign up for the Hulu Plus subscription that is available at a price of $9.99 per month. So as I see this, the move is a win for Hulu in getting access to more paid members while Sony may now have to focus on other compelling aspects of PSN in order to get members paying up for the premium service.
Hulu Plus, the $9.99 per month subscription service that lets users watch TV shows online over a variety of internet connected devices is now available for everyone in the United States. The service launched in June of this year and has since then been available on an invitation basis. In a statement, Hulu has noted that the company has scaled up their services sufficiently in order to bring this service to everyone (Catch our earlier coverage of Hulu and Hulu Plus by clicking here).
The announcement also extends the Hulu Plus access to more devices including the Sony PlayStation 3. The subscription service was, until now, only available over the computer, select Samsung televisions, Blu-ray players and iOS devices. Access on more devices like the Roku set-top box and TiVo premiere DVRs is also expected to come from later this year. If you are a Microsoft XBox 360 owner, get ready to watch Hulu from early next year.
Peter Kafka from All Things Digital has revealed from sources that Hulu Plus – the premium subscription service from the television streaming service Hulu – could see an overhaul of its subscription plans that could bring down the subscription fee that is paid by customers down from $9.95 a month to $4.95 a month. According to him, the drastic drop in price is an indication of two things – that subscribers are not buying into the service as much as what the company may have wanted to and that the competition that has a better offering at the moment.
The second part is quite evident. For $8.99 a month, Netflix offers a much better deal that lets subscribers to get access to a wide variety of movies and TV shows that can be received as DVDs or be streamed over television, iPhones or iPads. On the other hand, the Hulu Plus offering is primarily limited to the content offered by Hulu’s owners – Disney’s ABC, GE’s NBC and News Corp.’s Fox.
Anyway, there is no word from official sources as of now. So we will still keep this in the rumor basket.
I know media folks can be quite annoying. Imagine the likes of Rupert Murdoch from not one, but three firms – NBC, Fox and ABC breathing down your neck and demanding for more money. That’s surely not a dream job for anyone wanting to be a CEO. But that’s exactly what Jason Kilar at Hulu does for a living.
So it comes as no surprise that Hulu will be carrying ads on their $10 a month premium service named Hulu Plus. Now, as if that wasn’t enough, speculations are doing the rounds that there could be an additional payment option for users looking to remove ads from what is already a premium service.
As always, this news is not confirmed as yet. But as I said earlier, this does not surprise me given that Kilar has to answer bosses from three media companies at the end of every quarter.