Hulu is a wonderful website that offers streaming copies of hundreds of television shows, movies, documentaries, and short films. In very little time it has become one of the most popular destinations on the Internet. After all, who doesn't love having access to everything worth watching, 100% free of charge? Even dedicated media pirates were willing to forgo torrenting for the greater ease of just sitting through one or two short commercials an episode.
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Now it looks like the golden age of Hulu might be coming to an end. Hulu's growth has started to stall, and NewsCorp is looking at ways to drive up profits before the free content giant collapses under its own weight.
Jon Miller, formerly of AOL, is the man in charge of making Hulu profitable. He's looking to either add in a paid subscription model, or move Hulu entirely over to a paid model in order to bring in some cash. Miller wants to bundle up Hulu shows with other NewsCorp content and sell them together as package deals. It's also possible that we'll see Hulu offer full, permanent access to seasons of shows by charging a small fee.
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I hate to say this because I do love the convenience and freedom that Hulu offers right now, but I think Hulu is about to go the way of the Dodo. Their current model appears to be unsustainable, but consumers are used to Hulu being free. Suddenly charging money is just going to send viewers back to Bittorrent in record numbers.