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Author Topic: Hulu’s Subscription Plans Threatened by Free ABC iPad App  (Read 750 times)
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« on: April 22, 2010, 03:00:08 pm »

Hulu’s Subscription Plans Threatened by Free ABC iPad App

Rumors are pointing to Hulu introducing a long-awaited subscription-based streaming service on May 24th, but the company is nervous that ABC’s free app may steal some of that thunder.AppleInsider is reporting that Hulu’s plan includes the unveiling of a new service called “Hulu Plus,” a subscription plan priced at $9.95 per month, according to The Los Angeles Times. The concept behind the subscription fee is to offer a wider variety of content in addition to free content such as the five most recent episodes of popular TV shows such as Lost and Glee. Subscribers would have access to a “more comprehensive selection,” according to the report.Plans are also underway to include an iPad app as part of the subscription service, but Peter Kafka at MediaMemo thinks that Hulu’s plans are already devalued by the free streaming app from ABC that’s already in the App Store.Apparently, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar “tried desperately to get ABC not to introduce its free app,” Kafka said, citing industry sources. ABC giving away free (advertising-supported) content only serves to make Hulu appear less valuable -- and the ABC app was not only available on launch day, but so far, it’s quite a success for the company.Having ABC on board at launch day probably wasn’t difficult, since Apple CEO Steve Jobs is parent company Disney’s single-largest shareholder. Disney boss Bob Iger even went on record calling the iPad a “game changer” and touting the company’s big plans for interactive content on the device.Kafka claims that the $9.95 per month Hulu subscription would only apply to shows from ABC, NBC and Fox -- cable networks such as AMC and FX would sit out the deal for now.According to the Times, Hulu’s business partners are the ones pressuring the company into subscription plans in an effort “to both bolster revenue and train viewers to pay for online access to professionally produced content.”
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