Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Disney: “No Decisions Have Been Made” on Hulu Premium

So, when’s that Hulu Premium service we heard about last fall going to show up?

If Disney EVP Kevin Mayer knows, he’s not telling. But for the record, he says, “no decisions have been made” about what kind of pay models and services the video site is going to use, or when they’ll roll out.

In short, the only concrete thing that the Disney (DIS) executive, speaking at the DeSilva+Phillips Dealmakers conference this morning, would allow is that the video site will indeed be asking some consumers to pay for something at some point.

That could come in the form of subscriptions, a la carte downloads, streaming rentals or all of the above, Mayer said. This would be in addition to the free ad-supported stuff Hulu is already offering. “I think we ultimately should and will have a hybrid approach,” said Mayer.

Mayer is one of the key Disney executives who pushed the company to join News Corp.’s (NWS) Fox and GE’s (GE) NBC in the joint venture last year instead of accepting a competing offer from Google (GOOG) and YouTube. YouTube, meanwhile, is still working on paid services of its own.

For the record, I followed up with Mayer after his appearance this morning and asked about the status of Disney’s talks with Apple about its proposed iTunes subscription service. Industry sources believe that Disney is the most likely of the big media companies to sign up with Apple (AAPL). But Mayer, not surprisingly, declined to comment.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work