Fresh off its first Emmy win for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu is dropping prices in an effort to attract new subscribers. The streaming service is lowering the cost for its entry-level, ad-supported plan from $7.99 per month to $5.99 per month – a price that undercuts rivals’ Netflix and Amazon Prime Video’s lowest monthly plans, at $7.99 and $8.99 per month, respectively.
The move comes around the same time as a price increase from Netflix, which sees the streaming service raising the prices on its two most popular plans, which allow for things like more simultaneous streams or 4K support.
However, Netflix’s price changes didn’t affect its lowest-cost plan – the $7.99 per month tier that allows users to stream on one screen at a time.
In Hulu’s case, though, the price drop isn’t permanent – it’s promotional.
The company hopes to attract new customers – including those who may be tempted to sign up to stream Hulu’s breakout hit attracting critical praise, “The Handmaid’s Tale” – but may not be sure that a single program is worth the cost.
Customers will be able to take advantage of the reduced pricing through January 9, 2018 – an offer that’s only available to new or returning subscribers. That price will stay the same for a year, then will revert to the regular $7.99 per month price. Hulu also offers a commercial-free tier ($12/mo) and live TV service ($40/mo), but these are not included in the special offer.
The company didn’t publicize the price drop. Instead, it began sending out marketing emails a couple of weeks ago, on September 21, enticing former subscribers to return, according to a report from Variety. That was just ahead of Netflix’s price increase, announced last week.
This isn’t Hulu’s only recent effort in making its service more affordable in the increasingly competitive streaming market.
In September, Hulu and Spotify partnered to introduce a cheap $4.99 per month streaming bundle aimed at U.S. college students. The bundle includes the ad-supported version of Hulu along with Spotify Premium. The company said at the time more bundles of the two services would arrive in the future.