Will Hulu Become a Pay Service?

For us Hulu-deprived antipodeans, this is a bit of a non-issue. But nontheless interesting, asked if Hulu would ever charge for content, Jonathan Miller recently said, "in my opinion the answer could be yes." Who, exactly, is Jonathan Miller? The Chief Digital Officer of News Corp, which owns 27% of Hulu. Ha ha, shit.

As CDO, Miller is in charge of figuring out how News Corp properties like Fox leverage their offline content to make money, online. His words:

I don't see why over time that shouldn't happen. I don't think it's on the agenda for Monday [but]it seems to me that over time that could be a logical thing.

"That," of course, being a monetary intrusion on one of the best services on the internet. He makes sure to qualify all his statements with a blanket "in my opinion" clause, but his hedging shouldn't be comforting: this is a guy who attends Hulu board meetings, and sets digital policy for one of the three biggest owners of the video venture. His opinion matters.

As frightening as his statements sound, the pay system Miller envisages is a subscription model, and his words don't necessarily imply that non-subscribers will lose any of their current access to content. After all, News Corp owns a large movie studio, so perhaps this theoretical "pay wall" would sit outside of regular TV programming, between users and films, or maybe premium cable shows. That'd be fair, but somehow, I don't get the feeling that's what Murdoch and Co. have in mind. [Daily Finance via Gawker]

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