Right alongside word leaking that YouTube is planning on bringing their subscribers cable TV, Hulu has announced that they will be doing the same. A report by the Wall Street Journal confirms that the popular TV-show streaming service is officially looking to bring cable television to internet users in Q1 of 2017. 21st Century Fox and Disney are co-owners of Hulu, and agreements to license channels owned by these companies are near completion. NBCUniversal, also a co-owner of Hulu, was initially a bit more reluctant to license its channels, but Variety reports that they too are beginning negotiations.
These streaming channels would be a monthly subscription distinct from Hulu Plus, and you can expect to pay about $40 for it each billing cycle. It will come with a cloud-based recorder that is essentially a digital version of Tivo which would allow users to save shows that they missed for later viewing.
One of the benefits this service could bring advertisers is better ad targeting. While conventional television is broadcast, streaming services are narrowcast, meaning they have a much better understanding of their individual audience members and can customize ads accordingly. It’s a tricky market, however, because one of the reasons that many of these “cord-cutters” fled television in favor of online streaming was an abhorrence for commercial breaks.
Hulu would be joining the ranks of Sling TV and Playstation Vue, perhaps entering this playing field in tandem with YouTube, Amazon, and Apple. What do you think of this growing trend of live TV streaming over the internet? Something you would pay a monthly fee for, or are you likely to pass? Let us know in the comments!