In June, Hulu began offering users a subscription-based service that would expand their programming selection and provide content streaming on mobile devices. Just four months later, Hulu Plus could be cutting subscription rates in half to try to lure more subscribers.
A monthly subscription fee for Hulu Plus currently costs users $9.99, but could be cut to $4.95 as soon as this week.
Some industry analysts aren’t surprised by the move, and say that Hulu didn’t take into account factors like lack of programming stability which makes some users feel like they aren’t getting the value promised for the fee. Analyst Michael McGuire has stated that said he was “surprised Hulu apparently didn’t do more research” about the price point and that $120 annually for the service “feels high.”
Some popular network shows, like Modern Family, have been available for some time before disappearing without explanation, leaving users wondering. On that matter, the company says that they “can’t offer a specific reason why a particular video may be taken down, as streaming clearances differ from show to show.”
Of course, issues like this can be considered growing pains for a completely new business model, and streaming online TV programming is just that. Even industry research director for Gartner, Michael Gartenberg, has said that “Hulu itself is a giant experiment.”
Now the question is whether the enhanced service will gain more subscribers with the price drop. Will $60 per year be more palatable for the offerings than $120?
To me, it seems that there are enough free streaming resources out there that I wouldn’t pay for Hulu Plus even if they dropped it to 99 cents per month. There are, however, some people who value what Hulu has to offer that much. Do you?