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