The New York Times cites four people briefed on the matter as saying that they 'believe' Hulu may test a subscription approach to its catalog of streaming TV shows through the forthcoming app, which wasn't given a release date.
A joint venture of NBC Universal, the News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company, Hulu has seen its ad-supported, browser-based streaming service generate revenues of more than $100 million and triple monthly streams to 903 million over the past year.
But this success has caught the attention of many of Hulu's content suppliers who are now pressuring the company to increase their share of the revenues and open doors to better monetization techniques, such as a subscription service that asks consumers to pay a monthly fee to gain unlimited access to a broad assortment of shows.
Apple held similar aspirations in the lead-up to this weekend's iPad launch but was forced to table its own $30 per month subscription efforts due to opposition from its network partners.
The networks were reportedly weary of the strategy, fearing it could ultimately hurt their business and jeopardize "the tens of billions of dollars in subscription fees they are paid by cable and satellite companies for their traditional TV networks."
Rumors of Hulu's plans for the iPad have been brewing for months ever since the company was reported to be developing an Apple-friendly version of its website that would operate without the need for Adobe's Flash video format, which isn't supported on Apple's mobile devices.