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  • 07.08.10

Hulu CEO Is “Not Averse” to an Even Pricier Ad-Free Subscription

Hulu’s CEO said in a chat yesterday that he’s not averse to looking at ad-free models for his service, above and beyond Hulu Plus–but watching Hulu without ads will come at a price. A steeper price, that is.

Hulu

Hulu‘s new Hulu Plus premium service has garnered praise, sure, but also criticism for continuing to show ads even to those who are already paying. Hulu Plus gives subscribers access to a larger back catalog of shows as
well as the ability to watch them on mobile devices like the Apple
iPhone–but retains ads. Services like Netflix that are, if not direct competitors, certainly in the same broad category, charge monthly fees but have no ads. How does Hulu feel about the reaction to its new service?

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In a chat with Om Malik, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar noted that he’s open to exploring new plans–Hulu Plus isn’t necessarily the end game for Hulu.

With the new service, a subscriber is essentially paying twice — once by paying for a subscription and once by watching advertisements in the video. When I asked Kilar to comment on the criticism being leveled at the company, he said that the company was comfortable with the idea of offering a higher-priced version if there is demand from customers.

Kilar noted the variety of services on TV, from subscription services like HBO to paid package content like basic cable to free broadcast networks–there’s no reason to think web video wouldn’t be similarly varied.

Would an even-pricier ad-free version of Hulu be successful? The $10 per month subscription fee for Hulu Plus is about as much as I think customers are willing to pay. Netflix, after all, is only $8.99 for unlimited streaming of a huge selection of movies and TV, and has no ads.

Dan Nosowitz, the author of this post, can be followed on Twitter, corresponded with via email, and stalked in San Francisco (no link for that one–you’ll have to do the legwork yourself).

About the author

Dan Nosowitz is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Popular Science, The Awl, Gizmodo, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. He holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University and currently lives in Brooklyn, because he has a beard and glasses and that's the law.

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