Hulu Plus Lowers Rates, Extends Tech Reach

HuluTV networks may not be interested in digital pennies, but they don't mind saving video consumers a couple of bucks, especially when more competition gains ground in the digital video space. For its new premium video service, Hulu Plus, a spinoff of the Hulu service, co-owned by News Corp, NBC Universal, and Walt Disney Co., is dropping its initial $9.99 per month 20% to a price tag of $7.99. That previously higher price level was attached to Hulu Plus, when in "preview" for the last several months.

Hulu may be feeling the pressure from a number of video retailers out there -- especially Netflix, which has a current bottom-level package price of $8.99. (While including TV shows, Netflix is predominantly a movie rental service.) There are other video packagers out there with big ambitions, namely Google TV and Apple TV.

In his blog post on No. 17, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said consumers who signed on early will be credited any future fees that have been paid.



Hulu Plus service offers consumers full season-long current network series -- as well as many TV series from ABC, NBC, and Fox and defunct cable networks. Consumer users of the plain Hulu service will still see mostly current episodes of series -- generally the last five episodes at any given time.

Kiler says Hulu Plus is now available on devices -- TV sets, mobile, gaming and others -- totaling over 50 million potential users. As of Wednesday, Hulu Plus launches on Roku-enabled TVs -- Roku is a TV guide/Internet access function on television sets.

Coming soon: Hulu Plus will be available on Internet-connected television sets manufactured by Vizio and LG Electronics, as well as Panasonic Blu-ray players and HDTVs; TiVo Premiere DVRs; the Xbox 360; and Western Digital's WD TV Live Hub Media Center and WD TV Live Plus Network Media Player.

Sony's PlayStation 3 owners with a PlayStation Network account, which is free, can download the Hulu Plus application.

To stir more business, Hulu Plus is offering a number of discounts -- particularly to fans to grab more business. "We'd also like to offer you the chance to earn more free time on Hulu Plus by helping us spread," Kilar said in his blog. For example, one free week trial for all new subscribers; two free weeks of Hulu Plus for both current subscribers and friends they invite through our referral program; 11 weeks ($20 worth) of free Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Sony Bravia connected TV or Blu-ray player through January 31, 2011; and one free month of Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Roku-enabled device through December 15, 2010.

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