Streaming service Hulu just announced a new subscription tier to remove advertisements. As a reminder, a standard Hulu subscription costs $7.99 per month. The new commercial-free option costs $11.99 per month. It removes all the advertisements, with some notable exceptions.
According to the pricing page, seven popular TV shows will still show pre-roll and post-roll ads due to studio rights — New Girl, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, Agents of Shield and Grimm still carry ads.
At least you won’t get commercial interruptions right in the middle of an episode with the new subscription tier. In the days of YouTube pre-roll ads, many people are already used to having to watch 15 seconds of advertisement before seeing the actual content. And of course, for the rest of the catalog, the company removes all the ads. But let’s hope that Hulu will make sure that new shows won’t carry ads going forward.
The new subscription tier is 50 percent more expensive than the existing subscription plan. It makes Hulu more expensive than Netflix — Netflix subscribers now pay between $7.99 and $11.99 per month. Hulu still provides a free service with limited content for computers.
Today’s news comes as Hulu just signed a new deal with Epix to carry popular movies, such as ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’, ‘World War Z’ and ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction.’ Netflix previously had an agreement with Epix but let the deal expire.
Finally, Hulu is also competing with Amazon Instant Video. Netflix, Amazon as well as Hulu have been heavily investing in original programming with various levels of success. In particular, Hulu has financed new seasons of Seinfeld, Empire and Fargo for its subscribers.
This kind of content deals and original programs are very expensive, and the new ad-free tier might help drive the company’s bottom line. Many will also find watching Hulu without ads a lot more appealing.