One of the reasons that Netflix has become such a streaming juggernaut is because there are no ads, and there never have been. Though Netflix has jumped out ahead of the game recently with tons of high-profile original content, Hulu actually has a very decent library of its own, particularly regarding more obscure and foreign films. It’s also an Anglophile’s refuge, featuring a ton of great shows from the U.K. Plus, they recently acquired the rights to every Seinfeld episode, started saving broadcast series like The Mindy Project, and entered into a partnership with EPIX, which has added a robust catalogue of Lionsgate, MGM, and Paramount films to its library (which also includes a lot of great documentaries).
But the issue with Hulu has always been its ads. Not only are they super intrusive, they’re also mind-numbingly repetitive. And why are subscribers who are paying for Hulu’s Plus service still seeing those ads? (And in such large quantities?)
So now, at last, Hulu is addressing that issue by offering a premium tier of service. For $11.99/month, subscribers can go ad-free, or remain with a limited number of commercials (reportedly less than on TV, but that’s still a lot) for $7.99/month. And according to a press release, subscribers can switch plans at any time (basically, to add $4 to go ad-free).
You can check out the whole press release and details below, but what do you think of this news? Have you left Hulu or been adverse to getting it because of the ads? Will this change your mind?
SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today Hulu is offering a commercial-free option to subscribers. Viewers now have the choice to watch Hulu commercial free for $11.99 per month or with limited commercials for $7.99 per month. Current Hulu subscribers will maintain their existing subscription, but will have the choice to switch to the commercial-free option at any time for an additional $4 per month. For viewers who choose to watch content with limited commercials, Hulu will continue to show fewer commercials than scheduled television.
“At Hulu, we pride ourselves on listening to our customers and giving them the best possible experience,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO, Hulu. “Many of our customers have asked us for a commercial free option, and so today we are excited to introduce just that. Providing more choice for consumers is fundamental to the Hulu experience, in addition to an array of choices in content and devices, our customers can now choose to watch with or without commercials.”
Over the last year Hulu has aggressively expanded its content lineup. Most recently, Hulu announced a landmark, multi-year agreement with EPIX that will bring premium and hit films from Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount to Hulu for the first time. Hulu also signed groundbreaking licensing deals with networks including AMC, FX and Turner, and acquired the exclusive subscription streaming rights to full libraries of hit broadcast and cable shows including Seinfeld, Empire, Fargo, South Park, CSI, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Nashville, Deadliest Catch, The Last Ship and more. Earlier this year, Hulu also became the only subscription video on-demand service to offer the SHOWTIME® premium service as an add-on directly to subscribers for an additional $8.99 per month.
In addition, Hulu has made a strong investment in its original programming and has greenlit an exciting slate of originals, including the event series 11/22/63 from Stephen King and J.J. Abrams starring James Franco; comedy series Difficult People produced by Amy Poehler with stars Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner; Casual, a comedy series from Oscar®-nominated Director Jason Reitman; The Way (wt), a drama series starring Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan from Jason Katims; the first long-form project from Freddie Wong and the RocketJump team; and season four of the critically-acclaimed comedy The Mindy Project, starring Mindy Kaling.
For viewers who choose the limited commercials viewing option, Hulu remains dedicated to providing a seamless and relevant ad experience by connecting viewers with the right advertisers. Most recently, Hulu announced strong investment in advertising technology with its programmatic offering to deliver the right ad to the right user at the right time.
Since its launch in 2008, Hulu has been at the forefront of entertainment and technology. In 2015, the company announced it had grown to nearly 9 million US subscribers, an overall 50% growth year over year.