Hulu, the second largest Web video service in the US behind Google's YouTube, has announced the official debut of its subscription service Hulu Plus, and has slashed its the price from $9.99 per month to $7.99 per month. Users who subscribed to the preview service, which was available in June, will receive a credit for the price difference automatically applied to their next billing cycle.
Last month, there were rumors that the service would soon cost $5 per month. Unfortunately, while the price drop was accurate it seems the new price was not. We think many users will be disappointed as even at $5 per month many complained the price was too high for what the service offers.
Hulu Plus gives you access to a slightly larger content library and let's you watch Hulu on non-PC devices (like the iPad, iPhone, PS3). Hulu has now just added Roku to its list of devices. Support for Xbox 360, TiVo Premiere DVRs, and many Internet-enabled HDTVs, Blu-ray players, and media centers is coming in the next few months. Unfortunately, Hulu is still limited primarily to current broadcast shows from its three owners: Disney's ABC, GE's NBC, and News Corporation's Fox. In addition, many networks are creating their own free apps for devices, making Hulu Plus less attractive.
Most users are will continue to use the free advertisement version since Hulu Plus doesn't offer that much more. Furthermore, services like Netflix aren't much more expensive and offer much more content. Netflix is also available on multiple non-PC devices, including the three biggest gaming consoles: the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3, and the Wii. On top of that, Netflix is available in the US and Canada while Hulu Plus is still US-only.