The idea of “free” has become extremely controversial in the technology industry, especially in the case of online content, reports Digital Trends.
Rumors that favorite show streaming website Hulu will be charging for all of their content has most online-media-viewing junkies scared stiff. Sources for Hulu, after reaping the backlash of complaints, deny the rumors and say turning the service into a pay-only site is just not in the cards. Fair enough, but what happens when Hulu and other sites get desperate?
Ad sales are down, magazines and newspapers aren’t selling, and people are only accessing “free” web content. Will these poor economic conditions and lack of advertising force more web publishers into a pay-only frenzy?
Our sources say no. Rafat Ali, Publisher and Editor of the online news site paidContent.org, thinks we’ve come full circle and things will start looking up for online news sites and businesses.
The Hulu rumors have been circling for months and Ali thinks there may be a slight truth to all the madness. “If they’re going to charge, it will be for high-value content,” he says. “But realistically, Hulu will not change and the majority of the shows people are watching for free will remain free.” He thinks very few sites will be charging for their content, and if they do then it will be highly specialized content.
Ali says that in 2002 people had the same scare and everyone thought they’d have to pay to access sites, but that was just a phase. “The market came back soon after and advertising picked up again,” he says. Ali sees the same forecast for today’s scenario.
Photo by Hulu.com.