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Hulu Plus Plus? Video site forgoes IPO, may add more pay services

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Not satisfied with regular Hulu Plus? Well, how about paying for more Hulu services? The WSJ reports that the television streaming Website has decided to forgo its rumored initial public offering (IPO) and is instead seeking more private financing and more subscription services so it can better compete with Netflix. Hulu–a joint venture between ABC, NBC, and Fox–planned to use an IPO to raise the funds it needs to secure more content deals, but has stepped back.

“The people familiar with the matter said that Hulu’s lack of long-term rights to its owners’ online-video programming was one reason the board and Hulu’s management have decided not to proceed with an IPO,” writes WSJ.

CEO Jason Kilar and his team are now seeking further funding from investors and they might get it by offering more pay plans with differing premium content. Content investors are pushing for the idea because it will help them make more money. It is unknown how this will affect the site’s struggling Hulu Plus service, which had its price lowered from $9.99 to $7.99 due to lack of demand. Many users have complained that the pay service is limited, and sometimes doesn’t offer content already available on for free. Still, despite its troubles, Hulu is set to bring in about $240 million in 2010, doubling its 2009 revenue.

Hulu’s competition is fierce. Netflix is gaining subscribers by the day. Earlier this year it dolled out more than $1 billion to Epic for streaming rights to new DVD movies and has made deals with ABC and NBC since. In early December, the company was rumored to be offering up to $100,000 per episode for rights to stream in-season TV shows like Glee, the base of Hulu’s business. If Netflix is able to secure TV shows as they air on television, Hulu Plus will lose its only advantage.

Would you pay for more Hulu premium plans? Do you like Hulu Plus?

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
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