Hulu starts paid subscription TV service

Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:39pm EDT
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By Jennifer Saba

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hulu introduced a new paid subscription service for watching TV shows and movies on mobile devices, game consoles, television sets and computers, and joined other media companies trying to strike a balance between paid and ad supported models.

Until now, Hulu has been free over the web supported by advertisements, but offered only selected TV shows and movies. That service will continue to exist after the launch of Hulu Plus.

Hulu's subscription service, called Hulu Plus, gives users access to more than 45 full programs of everything from "Glee" to "The Office" for $9.99 a month.

Like all media companies, Hulu has its work cut out in trying to get people to pay for programing they are used to watching for free from the broadcast networks.

Hulu Plus is hoping to lure consumers to pay a monthly fee for the convenience of watching shows whenever they want.

Hulu has the backing of some of the most powerful media brands, with Fox owner News Corp, General Electric Co's NBC Universal, ABC owner Walt Disney Co holding equity stakes in the company. Providence Equity Partners also is a stakeholder.

Hulu said it is making its service available on Apple Inc's iPhone, iPad and iTouch, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's television sets and Blu-ray players. Soon, Hulu Plus will be available on Sony Corp's PlayStation 3.

Next year, the service will be available on Microsoft Corp's Xbox 360, Hulu said in its announcement on Tuesday.   Continued...