Hulu, the popular free online TV and movie streaming website that was founded as a joint venture between NBCUniversal, News Corporation, Disney and Providence Equity Partners, may soon be putting up a rigid paywall, according to a report in the New York Post on Monday, citing unnamed sources. The Post is also owned by News Corp.
Hulu, which currently offers much of its content for free, plus extra content for paying subscribers to its Hulu Plus service, will soon force viewers to log-in using paid cable subscription account numbers, the Post states, citing sources.
As the Post explains: "Hulu, which attracted 31 million unique users in March under a free-for-all model, is taking its first steps to change to a model where viewers will have to prove they are a pay-TV customer to watch their favorite shows, sources tell The Post."
It's unclear at this time if the supposed model would require users to subscribe to a certain cable service or package. Hulu did not reach TPM for comment in time for this post.
The Post further says that it is precisely this planned business move that led to reports that Providence Equity is selling back its stake in Hulu to Disney and News Corp.
The reported move by Hulu to begin essentially forcing customers to subscribe to cable TV has been met with no shortage of outrage on social media. Here are a few tweets that capture the sentiment:
If Hulu really switches to a TV Everywhere model--refusing $ from non-pay-TV viewers--it'll slit its own throat: nypost.com/p/news/busines…— Rob Pegoraro (@robpegoraro) April 30, 2012
Hulu can do what they want, obviously, but next time you see some inflated industry figures on the "cost" of piracy...— Julian Sanchez (@normative) April 30, 2012