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Reporter Shaun Byron and Video Editor Andrew DuPont sound-off on whatever is on their minds, from politics to pop-culture, from movies to the main stream media. Local, national, world-wide? If it's in the media mix, these two are sure to have an opinion on it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Would you pay for Hulu?

Executives at News Corp. are hoping you will. It was announced yesterday that starting sometime in 2010 the ultra-popular video site will begin charging users a subscription fee, though the details were not made clear. Instant feedback shows most people are not happy about it, with 70% of people responding to a poll by Entertainment Weekly saying they will not pay for Hulu.

I'm sure execs knew making the jump from a free service to pay service would be difficult, but this mught just be impossible. Despite featuring ads in all their videos, Hulu has not been able to make a profit. However, a subscription fee isn't likely to fix that. While Hulu currently offers a great service, the FREE part was what made it great. In the internet age, they should by now if they won't offer their content for free, someone else will.

Despite the legal restrictions on posting copyrighted video on free video services, popular TV shows and movies are still easy to find on YouTube and other free video sites. If Hulu removes all their free content, I'm sure there are countless other sites anxious to take their place. While nowhere near the same level in popularity, is already building a following and will be the most likely site to try and step in to fill the void in a legit way. When Napster became a pay service, countless clones sprung up to take over. I have no doubt the same will happen with Hulu.

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