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Why Hulu Fees Will Bring Its Collapse

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By Author: autor
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Last week I talked about Walmart purchasing Vudu, and why this was a smart move for them. This week AP Business Writer Deborah Yao wrote an article suggesting that Hulu very well may be charging for its content very soon. As opposed to Walmart, this is not a good move when it comes to the consumer.

While I completely understand the need to charge for the videos that Hulu shares—TV Shows like The Daily Show and Family Guy—doesn’t mean that I like it.
The fact is, for me, and the majority of users, this will drive me away from the site altogether. Why would I pay for content that I can easily find somewhere else online with a quick Google search?

According to the article, Comedy Central is being pulled by Viacom from the site, which I confirmed on Hulu’s blog, where they called it a “Fond Farewell.” This may hurt The Daily Show’s viewership if the viewers don’t know how to find this show elsewhere, but I also think most people will react the same way I will and find a new place to watch the show they love. Like Yao states, “many viewers are drawn to Hulu because of its ease of use, not because they couldn’t get much of the same content elsewhere.”

With Comedy Central being one of the first to bid the site adieu, it is not unimaginable that other shows will be soon to follow, forcing Hulu to make a compromise that will dramatically affect the current flow of the site.

One of the most interesting things in this article was the reporting of a Leichtman survey, that said “81 percent “strongly disagree” with the notion of paying $9.95 a month for a service like Hulu, while only 5 percent “strongly agree” to pay.” Can you imagine 81% of your sites’ users leaving, while 14% teeter on the fence? If these survey results are like Tarot Card reading predictions, then I’ll be Ms. Cleo and say that the site will definitely be going down.

Yet, there are ways to keep the site up, for instance, if Hulu decided to go the movie rental route, they can sustain a business by offering a cheaper video on demand rental system. In essence, the way for the site to stay afloat is to offer some sort of exclusive content that viewers cannot easily access anywhere else, and would be willing to pay to watch—bringing them into direct competition with iTunes, Amazon and a few others.

I like Hulu, and would feel a bit at a loss if I had to watch it go, but is it just another sad reminder that all good things must come to an end?

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