Hulu is one of the many streaming services that have led a growing number of cable and satellite subscribers to cancel their subscriptions and get most of their TV entertainment via the Internet. But a new report claims that Hulu is now looking to appease cable companies by eventually making the service available only to those who are also paying for cable.
The NY Post reports that Hulu, which is jointly owned by News Corp., Disney, and Comcast, is being used as a sort of bargaining chip between broadcasters and carriers. The broadcasters keep asking for higher fees from cable/satellite companies for their channels, but the cable audience is stagnant, as people continue to cut the cord.
So while Hulu would lose a bit of audience (and ad revenue) by requiring users to log in via their cable or satellite providers (much like HBO Go works now), both parties hope it would de-incentivize customers from cutting the cord, lest they no longer have access to Hulu.
The Post reports that it could take several years before Hulu finally goes this route. In the meantime, we wonder whether such a move would usher in a new era where other streaming services like Netflix and Amazon will also require cable subscriptions, or if these competitors will step in to pick up those Hulu defectors who want to remain free of cable providers.