For a price. Who doesn’t hate Hulu commercials? You’re already paying the monthly fee and boom, commercial time. A Wall Street Journal article on Thursday reports the company considering an ad-free tier for $12 to $14 per month.
Currently, ad-supported Hulu runs $7.99 per month. Sure, I hate on the commercials, but that’s only when I have to sit through some drug company’s ad for 120 seconds. 120 seconds?? Hulu, that’s a lifetime.
Yes, I know. First world problems. Why the change at Hulu? The elephant in the room known as Netflix. Yesterday, it continued its hot streak of subscriber growth, adding 3.3 million in the previous quarter.
The subscriber growth is double year over year. Even more impressive was the nearly one million subscribers added in the United States, a market that is edging closer to saturation.
Hulu sees the shifting landscape of consumers demanding ad-free options when it comes to watching TV. It also has to protect it’s ad business. Hulu wants the ability to capture audiences who would otherwise not subscribe over ads.
Ok, I roll my eyes at the 4-5 commercial spots, but it’s not like watching regular network TV. Now that gets ridiculous. Paying what HBO GO costs for ad-free Hulu? Ehhh, I’m not sold on that pricing.
What is compelling about Hulu? You get some network TV shows the day after they air. Seinfeld’s complete catalog and South Park. It offers Showtime’s premium service as an add-on, but that’s about it.
The company has original content, but it’s just not on par with Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Instead of tossing hundreds of millions at back catalogs, the streaming service needs a must-see show you can’t watch anywhere else.
One possibility to make the ad-free offering compelling is to combine it with Showtime at an attractive price. Keep the $12 to $14 range to make it compelling with Netflix and the rest of the crowd.
If, and it’s big if, Hulu went that route, I would be more compelled to look at the ad-free tier. But, double the price for nixing the ads? There needs to be quality original programming attached to it for me to make the leap.