The five most recent episodes of current shows would still be available for free. But to see anything more would require membership in its Hulu Plus program, which costs $9.99 per month.
Hulu has reported profit in its last two quarters, bringing in $100 million. If it were an independent company, that might be thought quite impressive. But Hulu is owned by Disney, NewsCorp and NBC Universal. Those companies have rather larger expectations.
ReadWriteWeb reported last week that Hulu's numbers indicate a slowing and plateauing of the company's growth. Hulu Plus would add an additional revenue stream that would augment its advertising.
What remains to be seen is whether the charges stimulate revenue or inspire users to seek free content elsewhere.