Back in July, we told you about a proposed plan for Hulu to offer an ad-free version of the site. It took some time and it seems that those early reports were pretty close to the mark. I say “pretty close” because Hulu is willing to go “pretty close” to ad-free if you pay them more money. To be honest, the simple fact that have commercials for a paid viewing site is annoying. Who do they think they are? YouTube?
Deadline is reporting that starting on Wednesday, you can start paying $11.99 a month and you can get almost entirely advertisement free programming on Hulu. “We did a lot of research on this,” CEO Mike Hopkins says. “We wouldn’t have undertaken this lightly.”
Hopkins says that the change “is not us exiting the ad business at all.” With new efforts to target commercials to specific viewers — for a relatively high price — “we expect ad revenue to grow dramatically.”
Until now, you still had to endure “limited commercials” to watch television episodes on their paid tier but if you are willing to drop $4 more, you can get a 15-second pre-roll ad and a 30-second post roll. That is on some shows that appear on the network, including New Girl, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, and Agents Of Shield. You know, the popular ones.
The fact that Hulu, which is run but Comcast, Disney and Fox, still believes that they need to run ads is a bit ridiculous. Netflix, according to Polygon, who has four times the number of subscribers than Hulu can run a successful business without ads and amazing original content. It would seem that this shows how out of step the old way Hollywood does things is compared to what the audience really wants.