Hulu Plus is now available to all residents of the United States. At least those willing to stump up the $9.99-a-month subscription fee for the pleasure. While opening the service up to a wider audience is good, lowering the price would be better.
We knew a paid-for version of Hulu was coming more than a year before the company actually decided to unveil its plans. Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp. was the first to raise the idea, and from there it was always going to happen.
Hulu Plus, as it eventually came to be called, finally launched at the end of June. As expected, it was an addition rather than a replacement to the original, free, advertising-based Hulu America has come to know and love.
The monthly fee of $9.99 doesn’t get rid of the adverts (which is a mistake in my opinion), but it does offer several advantages over its free cousin. Mainly that it makes Hulu available on more devices and adds fulls seasons of shows both new and old.
Now Open To All
Hulu Plus began as a service only available to those invited by the company. This is a common policy so as not to overwhelm the infrastructure of a new service in its early days of operation.
However, in a blog post on Thursday (Nov. 4) Hulu Plus Product Director Rob Wong announced a relaxation of this invitation-only policy, with everyone who wants to now invited to sign up to Hulu Plus.
Hulu Plus is now also available on Sony Bravia TVs and will soon be available to all PS3 owners. Up to now, Hulu Plus has only been available to Playstation Plus (which is Sony’s paid-for, premium PSN service) subscribers.
The question now is whether enough people will be tempted to pay the $9.99 monthly fee to make Hulu Plus a worthwhile product.
For me, Hulu would have been better served reducing the price of Hulu Plus to $4.99- or $5.99-per-month or at least removing the advertising. That would surely entice a much larger amount of people into signing up for the service.
It’s not that $9.99-a-month isn’t a fair price for the service being offered, especially when compared to the amounts people pay for cable TV. But to truly get people interested and signing up in their millions Hulu will have to lower the price sooner rather than later.
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