Hulu has managed to give the term “online TV” a legit meaning, while still not breaking any copyright laws or angering users and authors in the process. After its huge success in the United States, and several confirmed rumors that it could cross the ocean pretty soon, company execs have admitted that they are thinking about introducing special subscription services, and a Pay-per-View program viewing tool.
News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch and NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker were present Tuesday, September 15th, at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference where Mr. Murdoch confirmed for a member of the press that the Hulu conglomerate was analyzing different ways of increasing their incomes from the website.
"Are we looking at it with a view toward adding subscription services and pay per view? Yes we are," Murdoch said, but "No decisions have been made yet."
His partner, Mr. Zucker, said the same thing, confirming for Multichannel News that no official plans or projects had been started in this direction. "Whether there are other ways to monetize Hulu down the road, it is something that we are open to, something we will explore," Zuker said, though "there are no plans at this time."
While the Hulu execs were publicly denying all of these rumors, representatives from Business of Video blog have reported that certain sources from inside Hulu have confirmed that the subscription service is already in internal beta testing and is expected to hit the web pretty soon.
Until now, this joint business venture has proved to be a real success for its members, ABC (Walt Disney-owned), Fox (News Corp-owned), NBC (General Electric-owned) and Providence Equity Partners, with customers giving up on regular cable for the on-demand services provided by Hulu and the pirated TV channels available on various free underground websites.