The halcyon days of free TV on the internet may be coming to an end. The LA Times is reporting that starting on May 24, Hulu will begin to test a subscription-based model for old episodes of TV shows.
The service would cost $9.95 per month, and include a larger and more comprehensive selection of programs than is currently offered. The subscription service would be renamed “Hulu Plus,” but no word yet on what this increased content would include.
Hulu is currently the second most-viewed video site on the Internet, behind only YouTube. Despite the traffic, and despite generating over $100 million in advertising revenue, the execs at Hulu – which is owned by News Corp., NBC Universal and Disney – have been considering ways to raise revenues for some time. While $100 million is a successful pull, it pales in comparison to the revenues the companies receive through their standard broadcasting mediums.
According to the report, Hulu will continue to offer the five most recent episodes of currently airing programs.