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As Netflix bears down, Hulu Plus cuts price

Hulu Plus is playing catchup with rival Web video service Netflix and has apparently realized that the best way to compete is to offer a discount.

Hulu Plus has trimmed the price of a monthly subscription from $9.99 to $7.99.

Hulu Plus is trying to become a better bargain.

The video portal backed by Disney, Fox, and NBC Universal said today that it has trimmed the monthly price of its subscription to $7.99, an obvious sign that the service is struggling to acquire customers.

In June, when Hulu first began charging for a premium service, the cost was $9.99. Then Hulu Plus met with considerable criticism from users. Much of the content was also available at Netflix, and while that Web video service charged the same price, it didn't force subscribers to also sit through ads like Hulu Plus.

Hulu Plus had other problems as well, such as not being available on as many devices as Netflix. But Hulu has also announced that its service can now be accessed via Roku and all PlayStations whose owners possess a network account for the console. Web-connected devices from LG, Vizio, and Panasonic will also soon be Hulu Plus-enabled.

Still, Netflix is pressuring Hulu Plus, even in its own backyard. NBC's decision to hand over episodes of "Saturday Night Live" the day after they're broadcast by the network had Hulu execs "fuming," according to a story in Adweek.

Hulu was free of charge to users when it debuted in October 2007 and the service was a hit with consumers. The network backers, however, weren't satisfied with the revenue generated and clamored for a subscription service. Now, according to the Adweek piece, some observers predict Hulu's backers will eventually dismantle the service.