Monday, January 25, 2010

Hulu mulls $5 charge for shows

Missed a TV Show? Want to watch a movie for free? Well Hulu has quickly found a following with the computer crowd, offering free access to tons of TV and Movie titles. Well that may soon end. "HULU, the free TV web site, has been floating the idea that it may start charging -- and now it's talking price. How much to watch shows online? About $5, according to published reports. A pay plan -- if it is adopted -- won't be in place until this fall at the earliest, officials told the Los Angeles Times."

So, would you pay $5/month to watch shows on your computer? As a cable subscriber, probably not. I suspect most users are not willing to pay and will scour the web for free access at places like and other sites. Others will go searching their on demand for this free content. Why pay if the milk is free elsewhere.

Will a subscription model work for Hulu? Is $5 below the threshold that consumers won't mind seeing it deducted monthly from their credit cards or checking account. My daughter had me sign her up for Club Penguin and I have $5 deducted every month. I forget it till I see it appear on my bank statement and each month I do, I wonder whether she is using the subscription or should I just cancel it. I then forget about it till the next month. I suspect Hulu hopes the same thing happens for them. People sign up and then let it slide every month. Heck it's only 5 bucks. And that will decide how successful this pay model will become.

Apple and Verizon Wireless To Work Together?

While it has been no secret that Apple is preparing to present its version of a tablet, it has been speculated whether it would run across the AT&T platform or through Verizon Wireless. Clearly, AT&T has been a problem for Apple, especially when it comes to phone calls. And now Apple may finally end that exclusive relationship and add Verizon to the mix.

"Apple is expected to name Verizon Wireless as one of its carriers with its anticipated unveiling of a new tablet device on Wednesday, sources told The Post. That means Apple head Steve Jobs will probably introduce a Verizon iPhone, ending AT&T's exclusive hold on the hot smartphone."

As a Verizon Wireless customer, that is why I have resisted switching providers to buy an iPhone. I was one of the first to switch to Verizon when number portability began. I was fed up with spotty signals, dropped calls, and couldn't wait to switch. Even an Apple iPhone couldn't seduce me to switch back. If it proves true, I might just have to pick an iPhone up.