No more free Naruto? Hulu to charge in 2010

It's true, a spokesperson for Hulu has said that it's time for them to start, "getting paid for broadcast content online"

I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value

In other words... no more free Naruto, Bleach, Inuyasha, FMA Brotherhood, or Death Note. Hulu has not set a specific dates or prices.

edit: Deb Aoki has pointed out on twitter (@debaoki) that Viz media always has the same content available to stream for free on their website

But with the current economic slump, advertising revenue has never been lower.

Are people going to be willing to Anny up?

My primary concern is that their library is not deep enough. There are 2 possible ways for the subscription video sites to address this (that I can think of)

  1. Consolidate (buy each other)

    This one seems reasonably simple to me... big fish eat little fish until one company can offer a large and comprehensive library

  2. Form Networks

    Similar to traditional network TV - The video sites band together to standardize and unify the pricing model so that people don't have to have 3 subscriptions to watch Hannah Montana, The Matrix, and Naruto

Fortunately there is already evidence that this is happening: Try searching for those 3 things on hulu...

I'm waiting...

ok I guess it would be ok to just tell you, but just this once

Even though Hulu only has Naruto, their search turns up hannah montanah with links to watch it on Disney's site, as well as similar results for bonus content surrounding the matrix :)

Introducing money into the equation could change all that. Remove those links from their search results would increase the number of people who stay on hulu and pay for their content.

The whole plan is off if nobody is willing to pay though.

Would you pay for hulu? or just find a free alternative?

8 years, 1 month ago
6516 2 4 11

6 replies (reply)


A source tells EW that the site’s rumored pay structure would only be in addition to its free content, not instead of it.

8 years, 1 month ago
666 1 1 7

I don't use Hulu, but I still think it's a huge bummer that they'll start charging for it. I mean, yeah, we're in a recession right now, but still, Hulu users use Hulu because it's basically tv on the internet, and we can access them at any time, but I think a big part of it is because it's free! Right? Sure, some people may be willing to pay a subscription to watch the shows, that's great, but I honestly hope Hulu doesn't expect everyone to buy a subscription.

I'm all for supporting the shows, movies, music, etc. And I'll buy the records, DVD's, etc. But I dunno, I don't spend most of my time on one site watching shows. If I buy a subscription to something, I'm going to make sure to use whatever it is I'm paying for a lot. DVD's vs. Paid Streaming.

See where I'm getting at?

8 years, 1 month ago
1071 1 7

Sounds counterproductive. PR moves like this only promotes piracy. A good way for implementing a paid membership is to unlock special features like HD video and/or specials not by charging for regular tv episodes.

8 years, 1 month ago
666 1 1 7

Hulu sounded great until the screen turned black and nothing happened. Apparently, it has problems in Ubuntu. Just when things were starting to get good, they go and decide to start charging people. I'm very disappointed.

8 years, 1 month ago
6567 1 5 10

Hulu was the way I got my TV viewing in, since I don't use cable anymore. Even though it gave my old PowerBook some trouble, it still ran better than most major video sites.

Now that they are going to a paid format (very quickly, I might add), I have to say that I am both shocked and put off. I will not be investing in any subscription at all. I don't need to watch shows online, but it is a nice option. I might as well hook up an ultra-basic cable to get my Fox shows, and then to hell with the rest.

8 years, 1 month ago
6097 3 4 10

I think/hope free alternatives become more scarce for licensed titles as time goes on, allowing titles available in English to be profitable enough to bring more and more titles over here, increasing available content and viewership.

8 years, 1 month ago
4171 1 5 11

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