If you’ve been enjoying the limited but still free video streaming that you’ve been getting from Hulu, your happy days will soon be over. The on-demand service has announced that they are discontinuing their free streaming and will instead convince their user base to actually subscribe to them. But they have also signed a new deal with Yahoo that will enable those who still like free stuff to move on over to that side of the fence if they want to.
Currently, the free users are able to access at most five episodes on their favorite TV shows but of course, most of the content, especially the popular ones, are not available for them. Hulu says it has 12 million subscribers but a lot of them are actually on a full subscription package and so the company would want to add more to that number, and hopefully, they will choose to get the full access one. Those paying $7.99 per month get “limited advertising” with their shows while those paying the full $9.99 will give you access to their whole back-catalog, all the newest and most popular shows, and of course without an ad in sight.
Hulu is also looking the next frontier of video on-demand streaming services which is of course producing original content. Netflix and Amazon are already doing it, and even YouTube is also producing exclusive and original content. And having all these plus exclusive acquisitions and even movies means that the company cannot afford to have free users running around.
So those who have been enjoying the free service will receive a notification soon and will be offered a free trial which they hope will eventually convince people to subscribe. Meanwhile, they have signed a deal with Yahoo to repackage Hulu’s previously free content and offer it as Yahoo View. It is available for desktops only for now, but they are also planning to go mobile.