Hulu has announced a price cut and several special offers as Hulu Plus moves out of beta. But is $7.99-a-month going to be enough to entice mainstream consumers to subscribe to the service?
A paid-for version of Hulu was expected for a long time, and the company duly delivered in June 2010. Hulu Plus was envisioned as an addition rather than a replacement to the free, Web-based Hulu, and an invitation-only beta began.
After fine-tuning the service, the invitation system was dropped a couple of weeks ago as the company prepared to move it out of beta. Today, the beta officially ended, and with it came news of a price cut and special offers designed to lure people in to giving Hulu Plus a go.
Price Cut, Special Offers
In a post on the official Hulu blog, Jason Kilar announced the end of the beta and the beginning of what the company hopes will be a new future for the paid-for service.
First and foremost the monthly asking price has dropped from $9.99 to $7.99. Not a momentous cut, and not the cut many of us were hoping for (to $4.99 or $5.99) but still a 20 percent reduction going forward. Which shouldn’t be sniffed at.
In addition to that, there are special offers: one weeks free trial for all new subscribers, two weeks free trial for both parties in a referral, 11 weeks free trial (the equivalent of $20) for anyone purchasing a Sony Bravia TV or Blu-ray player, and one month free for anyone purchasing a Roku box, which Hulu Plus is now available on.
The fact there’s been any movement on pricing is positive, because it means Kilar has persuaded the networks involved in Hulu that this was a necessary step. Maybe the price will drop further as more people sign up to the service and the value of Hulu Plus becomes clear.
However, for now I’m not convinced $7.99 is going to be a big enough draw, especially with advertising still being a part of the service.
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