Hulu Wants to Be on the iPad, But Not for FreeS

MediaMemo's Peter Kafka hears that Hulu and its three owners want to be on the iPad, but if it happens—which won't be soon—it'll mostly likely be as part of a paid subscription package to get Hulu everywhere.

Technical challenge of switching from Flash to an iPad-friendly format aside (which isn't a huge one), here's the bigger question: Would Apple allow it on the iPad as an app, since it would compete with iTunes? (Especially if Apple's pushing for their own TV subscription plan, why would they somebody else's TV subscription app on their device?) More likely, Hulu'd have to able to run completely in the browser, where there's not much Apple could do to block it. But that's ultimately trivial.

Still, the bigger hurdle is that Hulu hasn't quite decided how it's going to move to a paid service yet—they want to keep the main site free, Kafka hears, while charging for the extras, which will most likely come in the form of some package that lets you watch Hulu on multiple screens (computer, TV, mobile). Also, they need mobile rights to shows from content producers. Not work that can be done overnight, or at least in time for the March launch.

But if there's a video service out there people will pay for besides Netflix, it's Hulu. At least, if some of the restrictions on back episodes are lifted. I want the full run of Buffy at my fingertips, dammit. [MediaMemo]