Last Updated Oct 23, 2009 12:36 PM EDT
Here's the skinny: A story on B&C's Web site says Carey "hopes that it will move to a subscription model," While Entertainment Weekly said Carey firmly stated the site would start charging in 2010. Whatever really happened, it was enough for a Hulu spokesperson to speak up -- which hasn't happened in the past over this issue -- pouring cold water on the paid idea, at least for now:
Hulu's mission has always been to help people find and enjoy the world's premium, professionally produced content. We continue to believe that the ad-supported free service is the one that resonates with the largest group of users and any possible new business models would serve to complement our existing offering. There are no details or timelines to share regarding our future product roadmap.Carey isn't the only News Corp. exec who has been speaking publicly about bringing a paid model to Hulu. Chief digital officer Jon Miller has been vociferous about it too, most recently at a conference I work on, Mediapost's OMMA Global. During Q&A, I asked Miller what how the site could convert subscribers to paid. He said it would have to be some sort of value-add to get them to pay. Meanwhile, while News Corp. floats paid scenarios, NBC Universal and Disney ABC have been missing in action on the paid Hulu debate. This promises to get interesting.