Hulu Plus Goes Wide: No Invite Needed, No Price Cut

Less than five months after a limited beta launch, Hulu’s premium subscription package Hulu Plus is no longer invite only. The joint venture of NBCU (NYSE: GE), News Corp (NSDQ: NWS) and Disney (NYSE: DIS), is open to anyone who wants to pay — and, contrary to speculation about a major price cut, the cost is still $9.99.

The shift was announced on the corporate blog this morning by product director Rob Wong, who slso touted more programming available on more devices.
The service is now available on Sony (NYSE: SNE) BRAVIA 2010 TVs and during the next week, Sony PS3 owners with PlayStation Networks accounts will be able to add a subscription. (Hulu is also updating its PS3 app.)

Hulu Plus has taken some hits for not having enough programming depth to merit the current price — one of the factors leading to speculation that it would have to cut the price to encourage higher uptake. But opening access at this price doesn’t mean it will stick. Hulu will get a more accurate measure of price sensitivity when anyone who wants it can get it and better direction on whether a price cut is needed. More to come.