Hulu on verge of losing more free shows?

hulu doubles revenue to 240 million in 2010 company logo

Hulu may be one of the most-watched online video services in the United States, but the service faces tough competition from the likes of Netflix, Blockbuster, Amazon Video-on-Demand, and iTunes, not to mention on-demand offerings from cable companies. And according to The Wall Street Journal, Hulu’s founders haven’t been able to agree whether offering first-run television content for free is helping or hurting their business models. The result might be that some of Hulu’s owners may curtail the amount of free content they make available through the service, with Fox, Disney, and NBC Universal apparently leading the way.

The basic disagreement seems to be how the studios can make the most money from offering their content online. Hulu offers some content for free in an ad-supported form, but studios are concerned the free availability of that content erodes the content’s value in other media, whether that be subscriber-based or one-at-a-time sales and rentals through services like Netflix and iTunes, or in their ability to sell distribution rights to cable companies’ on-demand services. Hulu’s owners are also apparently disagreeing about how advertising sales are being handled on the service.

According to The Wall Street Journal, there’s even been talk of converting Hulu into a online cable service available only to subscribers. With some 20 million people apparently willing to pay every month for Netflix streaming, the days of free ad-supported online video services may be numbered.

NBC, ABC, and Fox launched Hulu back in 2008 primarily as a way to compete with Google’s YouTube online video sharing service and peer-to-peer piracy, and was the first online service to prove that traditional media companies could compete in the online video arena. By any measure, Hulu has been a success, although it’s subscription-based offers don’t seem to have resonated deeply with TV and movie fans.

If NBC Universal were to pull free content from Hulu, it may raise eyebrows amongst regulators and amongst consumer advocates. One of the only conditions imposed on the Comcast/NBC merger by the FCC would be that Comcast surrender NBC’s managerial role in Hulu, because regulators were concerned Comcast would use its influence to benefit its cable business and play hardball with competitors.

Mobile

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.
Movies & TV

Disney Plus: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.
Mobile

Worried about extra data charges? Here's how to check your usage on an iPhone

It's common to get a little nervous about nearing data limits. Keep your peace of mind by checking how much data your iPhone is using. Our guide on how to check data usage on an iPhone helps you stay in control.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Mobile

Save space on your iPhone by turning off Live Photos in the camera app

If you want to save storage space on your iPhone or reduce the size of your backup for iCloud, then you should think about turning off Live Photos in the camera app. Find out exactly how to do it with our easy guide.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Mobile

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.
Mobile

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.
Mobile

Flip from portrait to landscape as we reveal how to rotate a video on iPhone

If you've accidentally shot a video in portrait orientation and you want to flip to landscape, then this is the guide for you. We'll explain how to use iMovie to rotate a video on your iPhone or iPad for free and suggest alternative apps.