Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hulu rolls out subscription service today

According to sources, Hulu is kicking off a $9.99-per-month service and it's heading to consoles soon. Sony's PS3 will be the first console to get the service, which allows users to watch current television shows on ABC, NBC and Fox, as well as other networks. Microsoft's Xbox 360 will get the service in 2011 but don't think of it as a delay. At first, I wasn't sure the wait is worth it. After talking to an MS spokesperson, I am convinced waiting is a GOOD thing.

Here's the skinny:

Hulu launches $10 video subscription service

By RYAN NAKASHIMA (AP) - LOS ANGELES -- Online video site Hulu has launched a $9.99-per-month paid section, under pressure from its media company parents to generate a profit.

A new tab opened up on the site directing users to Hulu Plus, a section that shows current season episodes of "Glee," "The Office," "House," and other shows from broadcasters ABC, Fox and NBC. The service also allows viewing of multiple back seasons of shows.

The new site is initially available by invitation only on computers, Apple Inc.'s iPad, iPhones and on TV using certain Samsung Blu-ray players. It's coming soon to Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3, and there are plans to launch on Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox early next year.

A free, ad-supported version of Hulu remains available, but with only recent episodes of shows.

Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gtdA0r9As5WqBzYsOYIBnXiEv0PwD9GL2QDO0

Madski11z's take: Upon first look, it appears that Sony got the jump on MS. Hulu Plus was rumored to hit the Box first, with the announcement coming at E3. That never happened, and soon, there was the first-to-PS3 rumor. That rumor proved true. Things looked grim for the Box, but after talking to MS, it could still come out on top.

First, MS wanted to make sure Hulu Plus would work with Kinect. You know, their new device that's tossing aside controllers to let YOU be the controller?

"We are taking the time to ensure the Hulu Plus experience for Xbox 360 is the best on the TV," an MS spokesperson said in our interview. "Like our other entertainment experiences, Hulu Plus will not simply be ported onto Xbox 360 - it will be tailored to take advantage of the social connectivity possible with our 25 million member Xbox LIVE community and the magic of Kinect for Xbox 360. Hulu Plus on Xbox 360 will include signature features like controller-free navigation with Kinect and Xbox LIVE Parties so you can watch with friends no matter where they are."

The second benefit of the delay? MS wants to make sure LIVE users will be able to have Parties, just like it offers to Netflix users on LIVE. Say you are watching "24" and you want to watch it with friends. Cool - hop on LIVE and have a party.

"Hulu Plus on Xbox 360 will be customized to include signature features including LIVE Parties so you can watch with friends no matter where they are," the spokesperson said.

Sadly, Hulu Plus will be available to just Gold members.

You will also have to get a Hulu Plus subscription too, but for two Starbuck Ventes, if you are a fan of Hulu, this could help you kick the cable habit altogether.

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