For those that liked the Hulu free version, you will have to go another place to watch. As you may know by now, Hulu decided to offload their all of their free content to another platform, Yahoo View. According to Vanity Fair, Monday, August 8th, it was announced that Hulu would officially end their free service in favor of a paid version. The remaining content would only be available through an agreement with Yahoo.
When the Hulu free version in 2007, their goal was to offer an alternative to pirated media and Youtube. To many, the Hulu free version was too good to be true. After three years, they added a subscription tier that would allow the user to see more content with fewer commercials. Viewership increased by quite a bit. Whereas there were still a small percentage of people that watched the commercial heavy content, many preferred to pay extra not to.
The battle over ads is not new. In the ’80s, many viewers would record programs on video cassette recorders and fast forward through the commercials. When Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) became popular in the early 2000s, companies that provided ad skipping software got sued. One company went out of business after a copyright infringement suit about that technology.
The head of Hulu stated that their goals were lo longer aligned with free programming so they were stopping the free service to better compete in the streaming business. That means Hulu will offer two plans. The light commercial version is $7.99 a month. The commercial free version is $4 dollars more, at $11.99 a month. That is more than some of their competitors charge, but Hulu feels their service is worth it. Content wise, Hulu offers many programming options. That is because Hulu is based on a partnership by Disney, ABC, NBC, and Turner networks. With the change, Hulu plans to provide more content to stay competitive.