Home Hulu Plus Opens to All, No Invite Needed

Hulu Plus Opens to All, No Invite Needed

Hulu Plus, the premium version of online video hub Hulu, has now opened its doors to all interested users, according to a post this morning on the company’s corporate blog.

Says Rob Wong, Director of Product for Hulu, users no longer need an invitation to sign up for Hulu Plus. Also, the service will roll out next week to Sony PS3 owners with a PlayStation network account.

Hulu Plus is paid version of the popular TV and movie streaming service Hulu, which initially arrived in June of this year as an iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch application. Subscribers pay $9.99 for access to full seasons of TV shows on Hulu, instead of the the handful of episodes the free version offers.

The premium service also supports some Internet-enabled TVs and Blu-Ray players, media center boxes like Roku, as well as gaming consoles like the Xbox 360 and the PS3, as noted above. Support for Sony BRAVIA 2010 TVs was just announced today, too.

The blog post mentions Hulu Plus’s expanding lineup of shows, including the addition of fall TV shows like The Event, Raising Hope and No Ordinary Family. Hulu is also delivering the back episodes of dramas like Monk, Psych and Battlestar Galatica, it says.

That said, industry insiders know Hulu has its struggles – it still doesn’t offer CBS or CW content, for example, and in March, Viacom pulled two of Hulu’s most popular offerings – The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report – after it realized these money makers should be making it money, not Hulu.

Worth Cutting Cable For?

However, for those looking to cut out their cable bills, $9.99/month isn’t too bad, as long as you’re not concerned with having all that cable TV has to offer. A combination of a digital converter box for capturing over-the-air transmissions of DTV signals and Hulu Plus may be “good enough” for penny-pinchers, though.

On a personal note, as someone who just spent well over a hundred dollars buying back episodes of Battlestar Galatica on iTunes prior to Hulu Plus’s launch (ouch!), this service would have been a welcome, much more affordable way to watch an entire show from episode one. My timing was awful. And if that’s the sort of TV-viewing you’re up for too, Hulu Plus is worth consideration.

If, however, $9.99/month still seems too high, then wait – it could still change. Hulu Plus represents one of the first major experiments in alternatives to cable TV (Netflix streaming being another, of course.) It’s fair to say the company is testing the waters and adjusting to meet demand – or lack thereof. Finding the pricing “sweet spot” is undoubtedly of the utmost importance to Hulu.

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