Hulu Shaves $2 Off The Monthly Price Of Hulu Plus, Will Refund Early Adopters

Hulu has formally launched its premium online video subscription service Hulu Plus after a preview period that started back in July.

Pleasant surprise for those who are interested: the monthly subscription fee has dropped from $9.99 to $7.99, a 20 percent price cut.

Pleasant surprise for those who already signed up for Hulu Plus: early adopters will get a credit for the difference from the $9.99 preview price to be applied automatically to their next billing cycle. Starting today, all new subscribers to Hulu Plus will also receive a 1-week free trial.

In addition, Hulu has announced that its premium streaming service will henceforth be available on more devices (the company claims that, combined, all supported devices boast a total installed base of over 50 million in the U.S.).

Here’s the list of supported (and soon to be supported) devices, from the press release:

– Connected TV and Blu-Ray players: Samsung, Sony BRAVIA® HDTVs and connected Blu-ray Disc™ Players, and coming soon: LG Electronics, Panasonic, VIZIO

– Connected Set-top Boxes: Roku, Sony Network Media Player, and coming soon: TiVo Premiere DVRs, Western Digital’s WD TV Live Hub Media Center and WD TV Live Plus Network Media Player

– Gaming Consoles: PlayStation® 3, and coming soon: Xbox 360

– Mobile Devices: Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

– Other network appliances: Sony Dash

HD-available programs will stream to users in 720p on capable devices.

In a blog post, Hulu adds that updates to the Samsung, PS3, and Apple iOS Hulu Plus apps will be available, sporting bug fixes and “feature and performance enhancements”.

Hulu says it will continue to announce additional supported devices and platforms (Android, anyone?) in the coming months. The company also states that it will continue to grow its current library with more content (there’s already a fairly wide range of TV shows from ABC, FOX, NBC, and others available today).

Last week, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar spoke at GigaOm’s NewTeeVee conference in San Francisco, where he revealed that Hulu now has 30 million monthly users and that he estimates the company will rake in $240 million in 2010, more than double its $108 million revenue booked in 2009. Hulu is said to be preparing for a $2 billion IPO.

For more perspective, please read this guest post by Mark Suster: “Why Hulu Is The OPEC Of Online Video” and our own Jon Orlin’s “Internet TV and The Death of Cable TV, really”.