Friday, February 4, 2011

Hulu Plus adds some more content to justify $7.99 price tag

What is it that people want? Content! What do we want to pay for it? Nothing!
In 2008 Hulu (A joint venture between NBC, ABC and Fox) was created to attempt and monetize the world of streaming media. These companies were afraid if they didn't capitalize on this market early they would be left in the dust by pirate sites, Netflix instant view, etc.
In the short-term Hulu was able to get ad-revenue from advertisements placed during shows, refined the website and grow the brand name of Hulu.Recently they have launched their Hulu Plus services which request users to pay a fee of $7.99 a month. 
What is the difference between Hulu and Hulu Plus?
  • Content can only be viewed for a certain amount of time after it is aired
  • Normally only have 5 episodes up at a time
  • Filled with pesky advertisements (Where they generate ad revenue from)
Hulu Plus ($7.99 a month)
  • Libraries full of content (seasons worth of shows)
  • No time restrictions
  • Multiple applications for use on your Television, Computer, Game Consoles and Mobile Devices.
One of the biggest problems in trying to sell Hulu Plus onto people that use the free Hulu site is that most people either A) Think the shows they have in the Hulu Plus library are lame or B) Already have a Netflix instant view subscription which has many of the same shows (Lost, The Office, Parks and Recreating, Law and Order SVU etc).
At the end of the day it comes to content. If you are going to ask people to ante up, it has to have value to them. It helps to determine what strategic moves to make and what content to bring by segmenting who is in the Hulu market. What kind of content do these individuals value most?
Well Hulu Plus just made their cable-less solution alot juicer by signing a deal with Viacom. You will now start to see content from shows like The Daily Show, Colbert Report, and Tosh.O. This actually might make me pony up some money to cheaply watch these shows legally. Again, valuable content = new customer.
I myself live in Detroit and to get cable here would cost me somewhere around $140.00 a month. Being a broke college student there is no way in heck i am paying that. So i have been living off of normal Hulu and Netflix Instant view, which has left me quite satisfied. The shows i really miss being a college student are The Daily Show, Colbert Report and Tosh.0. Seems like someone is targeting me directly, and i think Hulu Plus may have won me over. 
Being a marketing student, i am glad these companies are segmenting their target market for this service. Young individuals who can not afford the content or are unwilling to pay for it. Giving us a legal, HD quality, reliable, streaming service to view the content we want, when and where we want is a phenomenal idea. 
Giving people like me content that i find value in and am willing to pay for.

What are your thoughts on the direction Hulu is going with Hulu Plus and its additional content aimed at young individuals? Would you be willing to pay for it?
Best Regards,
-The Marketing Ninja


  1. For some odd reason i cannot fix the formatting on this post. Sorry!

  2. I guess for me the thing most valuable is the content and the time the content is available. I miss shows sometimes by an hour. I wish Hulu would post episodes right after they air so that I wouldn't feel compelled to watch them illegally. A large chunk of illegal episode watching happens in the first week after the episode airs on tv; this is the best time for Hulu (or Netflix) to make that episode available. Some shows, like House and Detroit 187, don't post until several weeks afterwards, and that's a mistake.
    In terms of content, I think Hulu might be smart to consider featuring tv shows that are hard to get in the U.S. I always hear a lot of talk about how much people like Korean soap operas, and I suspect that people would love to watch British comedies and dramas or Japanese anime. If Hulu could figure out which things Netflix hasn't quite gotten around to live streaming yet, these might be their best bet.

  3. Yea that is true. Since all of the content is digital it shouldn't be that much of an issue to have them publish the video at the same time it airs on television.

    Also; just wanted to clarify that Hulu Plus still does have advertisements. I apologize for not doing the proper due diligence for this post! Actually i think i am going to do the free week trial and then write another post about my experience.

    Thank you Courtney for you input!