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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Will Hulu's paid subscription service be complementary to Netflix ( NFLX) or become a thorn in its side? Hulu, which is co-owned by General Electric ( GE), News Corp. and Disney ( DIS), launched Hulu Plus earlier in the week. The subscription service will cost $9.99 a month and give users access to select current and past TV shows in high definition, including popular series like Glee, The Office and 30 Rock. Hulu Plus content will also be available through several devices like Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, as well as personal computers, Samsung TV and Blu-ray players. Hulu also plans to expand its reach to Microsoft's ( MSFT) Xbox 360, Sony's ( SNE)Playstation 3, and Sony and Vizio TVs and Blu-ray players. Since the launch of Hulu Plus, shares of Netflix have fallen more than 8%, exchanging hands at $105.03 Thursday morning.
According to ComScore, Hulu users watched nearly 1.2 billion videos in May, accounting for 3.5% of all online video viewership and second only to Google's ( GGOG) YouTube. "While the news of a paid Hulu service is not unexpected, this is the first new significant competitive challenge to Netflix in some time," Citi analyst Mark Mahaney wrote in a note. Nonetheless, most analysts don't think Hulu Plus poses a threat to Netflix. Hulu Plus costs $1 more a month than Netflix and still has commercials. Its offerings are also a bit limited, with no content from CBS, HBO, Showtime, ESPN, TNT and other networks.
"Hulu Plus doesn't have Netflix's broad movie offering and doesn't offer a hybrid DVD model like Netflix, but it could at the margin potentially impact Netflix's core subscriber metrics given the high quality of Hulu's offering," Mahaney wrote. The only real threat Hulu poses is stealing Netflix customers that are solely focused on TV, according to analysts. Hulu's subscription doesn't offer movies and is available on fewer devices then Netflix. According to reports TV shows account for only about 15% of Netflix's DVD mail shipments. Given all of this, do you think Hulu Plus poses any threat to Netflix? Take our poll below to see the consensus of TheStreet -- and feel free to leave a comment, to convince the world to the rightness of your opinion.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York. Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.