Why Pay For Hulu Plus When 88% Of It Is Already Online For Free?

Having gotten many, many hours of entertainment out of Hulu over the years, I've been pretty supportive of the idea of Hulu Plus, which would ask users for a $10 monthly subscription fee in exchange for additional content and the ability to watch shows on other platforms like iPhone and iPad. But given how many TV shows and even movies are already available on Hulu for free, what will that added $10 get you anyway? According to the new study from One Touch Intelligence, picked up by Videonuze, not much at all.

Their research found that 88% of the full-length TV episodes available on Hulu Plus were also on the free site, and even the ones only available to paid subscribers-- like older seasons of The X-Files and Family Guy-- were streaming on Netflix Watch Instantly. It's fair to assume that there will be a huge overlap between Hulu Plus and Netflix subscribers, so when all Hulu Plus has to offer is an additional season of Law & Order: SVU and some old SNL episodes, you have to wonder what kind of privilege they expect people to pay for.

The study recognizes that, yes, Hulu Plus has only been up and running for 60 days, and doesn't mention that Hulu Plus subscribers will have access to the entire season's worth of episodes one the major network shows get up and running, while the free Hulu will only feature the 5 most recent episodes. It's only fair to give Hulu Plus a little more time to sweeten the deal, but it's still shocking to see how little effort they've put so far into offering extra content. Are they assuming we'll just see the word "Plus" and pony up the way we've been doing for Netflix? Putting anything behind on a paywall online is a risky move these days, so hopefully Hulu Plus eventually figures out how to make it work paying the entrance fee.

Katey Rich

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend