We predicted that 2010 would be the year of online subscriptions, and today’s news from the Wall St. Journal report, “Hulu Loses Stewart, Colbert,” appears to support that.
According to the Journal, the reason Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, which produces The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, is pulling those programs from Hulu.com is that it was not seeing enough revenue from Hulu.com.
Hulu.com, which is advertising supported, shares a percentage of the advertising dollars with content producers. For Viacom, even those two very popular shows were pulling in pennies on the dollar from Hulu.com. So the company decided to pull the shows.
Hulu.com will survive without those two shows while people can continue to watch them on their computers by going to Comedycentral.com, where Viacom can keep all the advertising revenue without having to split it with Hulu.com.
But it’s another push for Hulu.com to move forward with an online subscription offering. Which is the conclusion the WSJ had. Given that Hulu.com is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who is a big proponent of online subscription fees, we bet that before Sept., Hulu.com will unveil an online subscription model.