As of today, right now in fact, Hulu has begun offering a commercial-free version of its streaming service which will cost approximately $12 a month. The company will also retain its current ad-supported version for the same $8 a month.
Hulu has been the exception of subscription-based streaming services because even though it required people to pay a monthly free, it included commercials that could not be skipped. That annoying feature has frequently turned new customers away from the service and was thought to have had a big impact on the almost 50% of subscribers who cancelled the service this past year.
The new option finally gets rid of the issue and puts the company back in serious competition with SVOD rivals like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Hulu has around 9 million subscribers, a far cry from the 42.3 million Netflix subscribers in the U.S. alone.
Yet Hulu’s biggest draw is that it offers current TV programming, unlike Netflix and Amazon which often won’t include a new season of a show until months after the season finale.
There’s a catch to this though – seven prominent broadcast TV series will still be preceded by a 15-second preroll ad and followed by a 30-second post-roll ad. Those exceptions are due to rights held by studios on select series. The service will clearly delineate the exceptions to users before they stream those series.
That list includes Shonda Rhimes’ three shows “Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away with Murder” along with comedy “New Girl,” Marvel’s “Agents of SHIELD,” and the supernatural themed “Grimm” and “Once Upon a Time”.
Source: The New York Times