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Hulu rolls out commercial-free subscription tier for ad-haters

By Shawn Knight
Sep 2, 2015
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  1. In July, rumors surfaced that Hulu was putting the finishing touches on a new subscription tier that would eliminate ads completely. On Wednesday, the streaming video service made it official.

    Starting today, those interested in Hulu’s services can opt for the standard subscription with commercials for $8 or the ad-free experience for an additional four bucks monthly. Hulu’s free service, also known simply as Hulu, remains intact.

    Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins told The New York Times that you can split people into two categories: ad avoiders and ad acceptors. There are clearly people who will not subscribe to Hulu because there are ads. With the new option, Hopkins believes his company can bring ad avoiders back into the fold.

    Hulu is the last of the three major streaming video providers to move away from commercials.

    In comparison, Netflix offers commercial-free subscriptions starting at $8 per month while Amazon offers an ad-free experience during video playback as part of its $99 per year Prime subscription (which also includes a number of other amenities).

    Hulu has shown a rekindled interest ever since its owners – 21st Century Fox, Comcast and Walt Disney – decided not to sell the site a few years back. Earlier this week, for example, Hulu signed a multi-year deal with Epix that’ll bring its movies to the site. Netflix opted not to renew its distribution deal with Epix which expires at the end of September.

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  2. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 954   +273

    Hmmm... might have to consider a subscription now. How is the amount of content compared to Netflix? Is it worth the extra money compared to Netflix? This is a good move IMO, I among many, refused to pay for ads. That was just a slap in the face and frankly and insult. For the record, I've never had a subscription TV, cable, or satellite service either. I don't pay for ads. If it is free, I'll deal with them... I do after all have a mute button.
     
  3. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +137

    As far as I know, Hulu is the only streaming service that gets you next day broadcasts of the major networks' shows. In addition, you can get a lot of the Funimation anime on the service without having a Funimation subscription. I don't like Hulu's movie offering, but if you're into a bunch of indies and the Criterion Collection you're not going to find those anywhere else. I think the service is worth it.
     
    wastedkill likes this.
  4. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 865   +434

    I did try hulu just a few month ago and thought that paying for it AND seeing 4-5 commercial per show was a slap in the face as well. And actually sometimes there are 2 commercials back to back, which is like 10 commercial per show.

    I didn't find their offering enticing; not sure what cmbjive is referring to, but they don't have the good stuff like Game of Thrones (I had heard a rumor that they did).
    And those "next day" show that they may have, well what good are they if you can't start from season 1 episode 1?

    It's great that they have a tier that's now without ads, but I don't believe it's worth it AT THIS TIME (maybe later?).
     
  5. Liana

    Liana TS Rookie

    Full disclosure for anyone thinking about buying into this:

    The new ad-free subscription still has ads on 7 shows, and that list of shows may change. It's also been stated that Hulu doesn't work with Chrome's Incognito mode, private proxies or VPNs. They also police what devices you can watch certain content on. For instance, you may be able to watch a show on your PC, but not your Roku.
     
    SalaSSin likes this.

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