Hulu could introduce an ad-free option as early as September

By Shawn Knight
Jul 17, 2015
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  1. Hulu is the top destination for television fans looking to stream content online but one of the major complaints that many have with the service is its advertising. Specifically, even paying subscribers are subjected to ads both before and at regular intervals during playback.

    That may change in the near future if a recent report from The Wall Street Journal proves accurate.

    Sources familiar with the matter tell the publication that Hulu is exploring the possibility of adding an ad-free tier to its service. Such an option could be just what the company needs to better compete with rival Netflix and position itself as a more attractive alternative to the growing number of cord-cutters.

    Netflix is currently considered Hulu’s primary competition in the streaming video industry although comparing the two really isn’t all that fair. Netflix currently enjoys 65 million paying subscribers worldwide compared to Hulu’s nine million or so.

    An ad-free Hulu could launch as early as this fall priced at between $12 and $14 per month, a significant premium over the current $7.99 monthly subscription rate. The success of the new tier would largely depend on how much television you watch and how tolerant you are of ads.

    Either way, the proposed rates are a bit on the high side which perhaps suggests Hulu executives don’t want a lot of existing subscribers to make the switch (which in turn suggests the $7.99 per month + advertising option would on average generate more revenue than an ad-free option with a higher monthly fee).

    Image courtesy Dan Goodman, Associated Press

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  2. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    It's good to see competition, but I'd wish that they were trying to drive the price lower to attract more of Netflix's subscribers. Get Hulu and Netflix to fight for services offered, features, and price; then hand me the popcorn so I can watch the battle with great interest.
  3. I could sign up to Hulu as early as September. I used to pay over $100 a month for TV with ads. Now I pay for Netflix, and Hockeystreams (yearly). I'm not anywhere close to what I had been paying, I wouldn't have a problem paying $12 to $14 for Hulu. I just can't stand seeing ads anymore.
  4. mls067

    mls067 TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +10

    I'd pay a little extra for Ad-free. But it better be Ad-free and not just for select titles and TV shows<--deal breaker for me and I'd just stay with the standard package with ads
  5. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Addict Posts: 251   +86

    Hulu is only available in the US? I hardly know it, in my country there it little to none competition for Netflix
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Maniac Posts: 936   +242

    I bet they come up with a version of legal extortion if they do this. They will come up with an ad "remove the commercials" for an extra 50 - 75% more money, we will not advertise to you.

    I bet they are finding out that there is a significant portion of their viewership who do not like ads, and anything that they advertise is not pertinent to those they show it to - like me. I won't pay extra for ads, and in fact, this has me thinking that I can live without Hulu.
  7. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 159   +41

    Keeping my cable subscription is cheaper than cutting the cord. I pay $50 a month for HD and DVR. I get nearly all the channels I want (the few that I don't get being a couple of fringe sports channels). I don't know how some people are paying $100 a month just on their cable bill. Hell, I get cable and 60 Mb Internet from Charter for under $100 a month.

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