Hulu will begin charging for access as early as 2010, according to Chase Carey, News Corp.’s president and chief operating officer. Frankly, this is not surprising given the pay-for-content rhetoric that has been the theme over the past few months from News Corp. and others.
What is not clear from currently available information is what level of access, if any, will remain free to the user. Perhaps the strategy will be freemium, in that the newest and most popular content will be behind the subscription wall, and the rest free and ad-supported.
Is this the beginning of a pay-for-access trend in 2010 and beyond? It remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that users want their content, and they are used to getting it for free. Check out this sample poll on EW.com.