Hulu launches pay service, eyes international expansion

US online video site Hulu has launched its much-vaunted subscription service.

The video platform, which is a joint venture between NBC Universal, News Corp and Disney, has launched Hulu Plus, its subscription video-on-demand service, which costs US$9.99 (€8.18) per month. The new service will allow subscribers to watch entire seasons of series and will make shows available via a raft of new platforms including iPhone, iTouch and iPads. Hule is also working on a deal with Sony to make them available on the Playstation 3.

“For almost all of the current broadcast shows on our service, Hulu Plus offers the full season. Every single episode of the current season will be available, not just a handful of trailing episodes,” said CEO Jason Kilar. He pointed to the availability of nine seasons of sci-fi series The X-Files, three seasons of offbeat comedy Arrested Development and seven seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

The US service is seen as a potential competitor to cable, which is developing a similar offering as part of its TV Everywhere initiative.

Hulu is also still eyeing the roll out of its service, including the subscription element, in a number of international territories. “Is our work done? Not even close. There are more shows to license, more countries to expand into and more product features to build,” said Kilar.

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