There’s a dark storm approaching at it’s not 2012. Hulu’s free online days are numbered. This past week, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report were yanked from the website in a dispute over ad revenue shares. If there’s one thing we can’t stand, it’s about Hulu, it’s those 30-second clips of “donate to Haiti” or the “Sprint Now Network”. Either the two sides could not come to an agreement on how to divide the ad revenue up or it was simply just not enough revenue coming in from those ads.
Yes, while we all like the words “free” and Hulu to be used in the same sentence, I am pretty ready to pay a small charge to use the site. Some say that charging for videos will turn viewers off, and I’m sure it will. But look at iTunes and how successful they are. Analysts are saying the next step for Hulu will be to bring exclusive and pay-per-view content like HBO and Starz shows, something like how Fancast is doing.
I can see how Hulu is struggling to make revenue and even turn a decent profit. Nothing pays the bills like live TV commercials and online ads just simply don’t cut it. And after two of the most popular shows have now exited, this could be a precursor to other networks leaving. FX is slowing backing out…they only upload episodes weeks after live airing and now don’t even show Nip/Tuck on it anymore. One thing is for certain, Hulu needs a not only a drastic change, but also one that will still have online viewers stick around.
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