Hulu cuts subscription fee as "Plus" service launches

Arrested Development is seen on Hulu in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Internet video company Hulu slashed the price of its subscription service Hulu Plus, which made its official debut on Wednesday.

Hulu knocked down the monthly cost to $7.99 from the preview price of $9.99. Users who subscribed to the preview service, which was available in June, will receive a credit for the price difference, the company said.

Hulu Plus subscribers have access to premium content, including current hit TV shows “Glee,” “30 Rock,” and “Modern Family,” through a variety of devices including the iPad and PlayStation 3.

The price cut underscores the stiff competition in digital media from the likes of Amazon, Google, Apple and Netflix, which are all jockeying to stream movies and TV shows to people’s living rooms and mobile devices.

Sources recently told Reuters that Hulu is considering an effort to raise $200 million to $300 million in a public offering that would help fund its efforts to expand and pay for more content deals. Such an offering would value the company at about $2 billion, the sources said.

Backed by NBC Universal, Walt Disney Co, News Corp and private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, Hulu is now the second-largest Web video service behind Google’s YouTube in the United States.

Reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn