In a move that may strengthen Hulu’s position as an alternative to Netflix and Amazon, Hulu announced today that it is launching a commercial-free version of its streaming video service.
The New York Times reports that the new service is priced at $12 per month, vs. about $8 for the ad-supported version.
“To date, Hulu has stood as the exception among the prominent subscription-based streaming services because it included commercials that could not be skipped, even for its pay service,” The Times reports. “In the fierce competition for streaming subscribers, Hulu hopes it will lure more people to sign up by offering both a cheaper ad-supported and an ad-free option, said Mike Hopkins, Hulu’s chief executive.”
Hopkins is quoted in the report saying: “You can split people into two categories: ad avoiders and ad acceptors. There are clearly people who just are not going to buy Hulu because there are ads. We think we can bring them back into the fold with new content and this new choice.”
Hulu’s current subscriber base is dwarfed by Netflix, with Hulu having about 9 million U.S. subscribers to 41 million for Netflix.