Media

Hulu considering a premium ad-free service beyond Hulu Plus

Streaming video site Hulu’s subscription service, Hulu Plus, has been out for little more than a week, and already there’s talk of an even more premium offering. On Wednesday, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar mentioned that the company is not against a more expensive ad-free service. He made the comments while speaking to GigaOM.

Even though Hulu Plus costs $9.99 a month — for increased access to Hulu’s library, as well as access to the service on certain TVs, the iPhone and iPad, and game consoles like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 — the service still includes ads.  Both professional and user reviews have complained about the ads, even though they’ve praised the service overall.

Kilar says that there will be many models in the premium content distribution service. He used the television business model as an example: Some channels are ad-supported and completely free, some are totally premium without ads, and some — including cable networks like FX and AMC — do both.

I wouldn’t expect Hulu to unveil an ad-free service anytime soon, though. The company still needs to convince users why they would want to spend money on Hulu Plus when they’ve grown accustomed to having its content free for years. Hulu also needs to get its hardware integration solidified before it launches any new services. It has announced plans to bring Hulu Plus to TVs and game consoles, but it won’t be readily available on some devices until the end of the year — and in the case of the Xbox 360, not until 2011.

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