Hulu launching subscription service starting at $9.95 per month?

One of the most popular video streaming sites on the web might not be so free any longer, as it is rumored that Hulu plans to start testing a subscription service as soon as next month.

One of the most popular video streaming sites on the web might not be so free any longer, as it is rumored that Hulu plans to start testing a subscription service as soon as next month.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Hulu will be debuting a subscription service for $9.95 per month to access backlog episodes of some of the most popular shows available on the site. It should be noted up front that Hulu hasn't commented on this publicly - yet.

Currently, viewers can stream the five most recent episodes from various hit shows on Fox, NBC and ABC. It would continue to stay that way when the subscription curtain kicks in, but everything beyond that would require some money.

While having all of that high-quality video content for free has been great, it's understandable that a fee was going to be imposed sooner or later. Up until this point, the Disney/Fox/NBC-owned venture has survived off of online advertising but obviously that model hasn't been sustainable enough.

So if you're able to stay on top of your favorite shows and catch episodes in a timely manner, well then you probably don't need to sign up. But if you don't have TiVo or OnDemand (or an old-fashioned VCR) and you're going to be missing a lot, start saving your pennies now.

While I'm an avid Netflix fan and happy to pay for that membership, I don't really see myself signing up for Hulu - especially with my all-time favorite show, Lost, ending next month. It's one step away from a paid YouTube subscription. (Perish the thought.) And if I really like a TV show and I want to spend money on it, I'd probably hold out for the season on DVD.

Would you sign up for a Hulu subscription plan?