Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Encouraged by its innovative new "pay-for-stuff" model introduced in 2010, Hulu is considering taking the next logical step by requiring users to have a subscription to a pay-cable service in order to access its content. It's a bold new spin on the increasingly outmoded design of free streaming that's known as "completely not-free streaming, because no one really makes money on that"—or "authentication" for short—that could be introduced within the next several years as part of the TV Everywhere initiative, which envisions an exciting future where TV is available everywhere, provided it's somewhere that connects to a cable box.  The New York Post also says that both Fox and NBC are moving toward putting their own online content under authentication, speculating that these deals will "make cable companies happy because it could slow cord-cutting by making cable subscribing more attractive," primarily by offering no other viable legal alternative to watching cable TV. But Hulu, it adds, "could see its audience… shrink after authentication," probably because people fear change.


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