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Bob Iger: Hulu Could Charge For Content, People Will Pay Online

07/22/09 10:06 PM ET   AP

Bob Iger

PASADENA, Calif. — Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger said Wednesday the Hulu online video streaming site that it now co-owns could one day charge for its content instead of just offering free streams and selling advertising.

"There's plenty of room for people to spend money on things they're doing online," Iger told a technology conference put on by Fortune magazine.

He cited statistics that showed how much people are willing to pay for media content: $5 an hour to watch movies, 75 cents an hour reading books, magazines, and newspapers and 25 cents for every hour of Internet use.

"We have ample evidence both in traditional media and in new media that people are willing to pay for quality, they're willing to pay for choice, they're willing to pay for convenience," Iger said.

"It's possible that Hulu will look at monetizing as well. It may be not just selling ads," he said.

Disney took just over a 25 percent equity stake in the Hulu joint venture in April, joining its founders, NBC Universal and News Corp., and agreed to provide TV shows and movies to the site.

Iger added that Disney was working on a Disney-branded site that would make available movies, TV shows and games to consumers who pay for a subscription, but wouldn't reveal details.

The company reports its third-quarter earnings on July 30.

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Filed by Danny Shea  |