Hulu Ends Free Streaming Service

Crushed
Courtesy of hulu

Hulu inks deal with Yahoo to provide free, ad-supported episodes of TV shows

Hulu is moving to an all-subscription model, eliminating the ad-supported service that has let users watch thousands of TV episodes in the nine years since it first launched.

At the same time, Hulu has expanded its distribution deal with Yahoo, which is launching Yahoo View, a new ad-supported TV-streaming site with the five most recent episodes of shows from ABC, NBC and Fox — eight days after original air date — as well as other network shows, day-after clips, and full seasons of anime and Korean drama series. The free Hulu service will be phased out over the next few weeks.

The moves come less than a week after Time Warner announced that it is paying $583 million to take a 10% stake in Hulu, joining existing owners Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast.

Related

Hulu Live TV Package

Why Hulu Is Kicking Free TV Out of Its Lineup

“For the past couple years, we’ve been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers,” Hulu senior VP and head of experience Ben Smith said in a statement. “As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy.”

Hulu is focusing on subscriptions as it looks to ratchet up its competition with Netflix and Amazon Prime, its two key SVOD rivals. Hulu offers two subscription plans: $7.99 per month with commercials, and $11.99 per month without any ads.

In addition, Hulu is gearing up to launch a live-TV service sometime in 2017, which will feature linear channels from its parent companies including local TV stations. The company hasn’t revealed details on pricing and packaging of that service.

Meanwhile, Yahoo is the midst of being acquired by Verizon in a $4.8 billion deal, which is expected to close by the end of 2016 or in the first quarter of 2017. The Hulu content promises to be a draw for Yahoo, especially with Hulu ending its own free service.

Yahoo is now Hulu’s “preferred partner” for all of the episodes from the free service. Comcast’s Xfinity also offers all of Hulu’s free content; other sites that carry free episodes from Hulu include New York magazine’s Vulture.com and Time Inc.’s People.com.

“Video is an important part of Yahoo’s strategy and we’re committed to delivering the best digital video content to our users. To date, we’ve streamed amazing experiences across sports, finance, and news,” said Phil Lynch, VP and head of media partnerships for Yahoo. “This partnership with Hulu is a natural extension of that strategy, bringing the best of TV and entertainment content to our lifestyle vertical.”

Yahoo’s new site, at view.yahoo.com, is now available in the U.S. Mobile web and mobile apps will be coming soon.

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  1. Frosty says:

    Pay for it and still get ads? You must be joking. Good luck with that sub tier, back to Netflix 4 me. Good riddance to commercials in general on everything.

  2. jjcross says:

    business ethics. something Hulu lacks

  3. jjcross says:

    commercial free, that’s such a joke. i paid for commercial free and still got commecials. burn in hell for hulu

  4. Deb says:

    They lost me! I have Amazon Prime and Netflix. Hulu is less than useless.

  5. Richard says:

    No longer free= no longer relevant.

  6. toolkien says:

    I am always amused when I read comment sections like this. Invariably half the comments made boil down to “I want first rate entertainment, without commercials, at blazingly fast speeds, precisely when I want it, over any platform I choose, and I don’t want to pay more than $3 a year or everyone else is a greedy capitalist oinker.”

    “Money, money, money” someone said. It’s BAD when someone else expects money, but it GOOD when you want money staying in your own wallet yet gorge on products and services. Funny how that works.

    Content costs money to produce and store. You can pay your share outright, watch “free” by subjecting yourself to the conditioning of commercials, or a blend of the two. If you don’t want any of those choices, then I suggest starting an all volunteer community theater to satisfy your entertainment needs. Good luck with that. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of involvement bartering your talent for humming the Theme From Star Wars while your next door neighbor does his “squirting milk out of is eye socket” routine. When 80 year old Edna Nussbaum does her Best Of Mae West impression, $11 a month for Hulu will probably not seem so bad.

  7. Ashley Burd says:

    I noticed this when I was looking for fall premieres. I’m aggravated, as I have been using hulu since 2007 when it was this little niche site nobody knew about that had primarily older or less popular FOX shows. Network TV has become so flooded with craptastic reality content that it’s not a huge loss. Most networks stream the few most recent episodes from their own sites. Hulu was just more convenient.

    At $11.99 for no-ad content, you might as well get HBONow for 14.99 instead. Higher quality content, a much better movie variety, no ads, and a better user experience.

    • ffnogoodnik says:

      “At $11.99 for no-ad content, you might as well get HBONow for 14.99 instead.”

      I disagree Ashley. Why might I as well get HBO Now for 14.99? They are two totally different packages. It does not give me current shows the day after. THAT is what Hulu does and does very well. Unless you can get me a replacement for that then any suggestion is useless.

      Your comment about Network TV’s reality content is so 5 years ago. There is less reality TV on Network TV now then there was 5 years ago.

      Also not every show on HBO is gold, usually they are more miss than hit.

  8. Freddy McDaniel says:

    That just sucks bye hulu

  9. Bye bye Hulu. You suck.

  10. leeuniverse says:

    Greedy liberals…… Liberals claim to be all for the poor, and they take away almost our only way to “legally” support TV Shows and movies. Now all they leave us is to illegally download everything we want to watch.

    • MityMom says:

      What does this have to do with liberals? Traditionally huge business conglomerates are the purview of republican a$$&les.

  11. BeciSue says:

    Well, that’s it for me and Hulu then. I would rather watch Netflix or Amazon anytime over Hulu. I don’t know how Hulu thinks they can charge $11.99 for no advertisements when Netflix only charges $7.99 and has much better streaming. Plus with Amazon Prime there are tons of movies and shows to watch and no charge.

    • Elliot Clark says:

      The reason that Hulu charges more for their commercial free option than Netflix does is because they have episodes from current seasons of television shows while Netflix doesn’t get seasons until after they’ve finished airing on television.

  12. John Sellers says:

    Well I just went to view.yahoo.com and at first blush it looks OK. I didn’t poke around much but it seems that stuff that was on HULU for free is now there. The streaming seems a bit more stable to boot.

    Maybe this is a good thing….I got tired of watching HULU stiffing its advertisers by showing the same advertisement 50 times. I wonder how many of its advertisers ever figured out that there exposure was actually a small fraction of what they paid for?

  13. Antenna Man says:

    I stopped using Hulu when I found out who owned them. It didn’t seem to make a lot of sense to get rid of cable and then pay the same company for second rate service. Instead I put up an antenna and purchase a Roku, now I have a lot more to chose from at $0 a month then I had when I was paying $135 a month for cable. Plus the beauty of Roku is it’s the same as a $22 a month DVR from Comcast where I can pause, stop, rewind or come back in a week to watch my show without having the DVR run out of memory.

    • I don’t use Hulu anymore. I’m trying to eliminate ANY monthly payments I possibly can. I bought a MyMatrixTV android box. It’s got all the free streaming tv shows that I normally watch, movies, games…etc

  14. Ric says:

    I have Hughesnet so only get 60 gigs of data a month anyway. Can’t stream video. CUT THE CORD and get an antenna!!!

  15. Vikki says:

    Not sure what the fuss is about really, I’ve subscribed to hulu since way back and then upgraded to the additional when they came out with ad free, I watched more than just shows that I miss, I like to watch anime as well even though you can watch it online for free the quality is way better. I don’t regret it. I don’t watch tv unless its something to do with the weather, but thats what the internet is for as well, this is nothing compared to cable companies charging you something you never ordered.Maybe its just me. Although they could update a lil more content, other than that. I’m happy with it.

  16. mimi says:

    I only used my hulu account when I missed a show on tv. Now that it makes people pay….I don’t really see it as worth it. It’s still not as great as netflix

  17. Well Hulu is going to need to seriously improve upon their content. The quality of shows and movies doesn’t compare to Netflix or Amazon Prime. Another issue is Hulu is more expensive than other streaming sites. Who knows, maybe this will prove to be successful, but I won’t subscribe unless the content is much better, I assume many others feel the same.

    • ffnogoodnik says:

      Hulu has better content than Amazon Prime and it gets its content up to a full year before Netflix. You pay a little more (2 bucks) more for Hulu to get current stuff.

  18. I saw Hulu on yahoo last night for the first time: of course I dozed off like I always have at movies.

  19. E. says:

    Goodbye Hulu.

  20. Craig says:

    I’m confused. Where was the option to view Hulu for free before? For the last year or so the only thing I’ve seen is “Start your free trial!”

    • slackerinc says:

      Yeah, they have been trying to sort of trick, and certainly nag, people into paying over that time frame. And if you haven’t registered with them at all, you really can’t watch anything (used to be, you could watch anonymously). But if you are registered, even without paying any fees, your name will be in small print at the upper right. When you click that, you can choose “WATCHLIST”. Then the shows you have put on your watchlist will still be there (for the moment anyway), and now a search box will also appear so you can look for any of the network shows they have on there for free.

  21. david thayer says:

    Good bye hulu.ill look else where.

  22. Joe says:

    It’s all about the money; it’s always all about the money. Viewers be damned.a

  23. REGIS says:

    GOODBYE HULU – YOU RUINED A GOOD THING

  24. Shawna says:

    The one thing that I like about hulu is not having the ads. I don’t think that I will be keeping hulu when they change to having ads. I

    • ffnogoodnik says:

      Shawna, what are you talking about? Hulu started with ads then for a few buck more you can get stuff without the ads. They changed FROM having ads to a setting where you DID NOT havre ads.

  25. Will says:

    Seems funny that folks are complaining about having to pay for content with ads, yet most of the commentors seem to have cable or satellite. they too are paying to watch ads for content they dont watch. Hulu lets me watch exactly what I want when I want. I dont have cable or satellite.

    • straubdavid9 says:

      I remember a time when we were being told that satellite and cable service would end ads since we would be paying. All we did was go from free tv with ads, to paying for tv with ads with both of those platforms!

      • ffnogoodnik says:

        @straubdavid9 I am in my later 40’s and never remember a time when we were told that “satellite and cable service would end ads “. Yes, cable did bring us channels like HBO where you did not get get commercials but for the channels that had them you were paying to get the channels in the first place. THAT was the reason people got cable, not to avoid commercials but to get a wider variety of channels that they could not get over the air.

  26. Pat says:

    To be honest hulu is a waste of money i had it for only 3 months canceled halfway thru the 3rd month only ordered it for the first season of Fargo it has nothing but straight to DVD or tv movies and tv shows i never watched when it was on btw you paying to watch commercials

  27. Omega1234 says:

    This is a very poor plan for Hulu. When trying to make money, one needs to attract customers, not isolate itself from them. One uses free shows with adds to attract customers and the subscriptions to provide privilaged services, like ad-free viewing, to entice customers to pay for it. But to force customers to pay from shows with ads is a terrible plan. Why would consumers want that? Hulu isn’t going to make it to next year with poor business strategies like this.

  28. tktool2013 says:

    every time the capitalist pigs get ahold of something( time warner bought it) they always ruin a good thing, i pay for hulu and it is nothing like netflix, the video is choppy and don’t play very good, nextflix never had a problem so i guess it must not be on my end, was thinking about dumping hulu anyway , they just gave me a good reason, hulu has always sucked with its ads, thats a sign of capitalist pigs not satisfied unless they go after all they can get like animals, hum, wonder why netflix don’t have commercials , maybe they are not pigs

    • nerdrage says:

      Don’t be naive, Netflix is also run by capitalist pigs, all of Hollywood and Silicon Valley is, all of business is. Netflix has just realized there’s a tidy business to be had in taking people’s credit card numbers instead of advertisers’ money. If you broke down the numbers, I wouldn’t be surprised if the credit card numbers option isn’t the better one. There’s tremendous power in having those numbers and the right to charge them every month, multiplied by millions all over the world…the ad business is paltry by comparison and getting worse all the time since the young audience under 35 that advertisers want is also the group most likely to defect from broadcast to streaming.

  29. hulu with commercials for 8 bucks a month sucks. bye bye hulu

  30. Danny says:

    well goodbye Hulu account. Time to never use you again.

  31. Robbie says:

    Hulu is awful. To pay to have to sit through their annoying commercials which they NEVER rotate is like nails on a chalkboard. And their original programming is one dog after another. There are plenty of other options to watch network shows that bypass Hulu altogether. I cut them loose a year ago and I don’t miss them one bit.

  32. David says:

    Its always money money money

  33. Bonita1973 says:

    Can’t say I didn’t see this one coming. Hulu is my favorite since YouTube has become something I no longer recognize. DailyMotion is going downhill fast. Hopefully Yahoo will keep the nostalgic shows. I don’t care for the modern ones very much.

  34. Javier Casas says:

    Hulu has so much content that Netflix and Prime doesn’t – however when they put the “Latino” section everything began going down hill. Then they removed Hulu Japan content. The apps main landing page forced the “Latino” section on – and when you looked deep in Hulu for Asian content it was only knock-off Korean drama’s… They did manage to keep all their Anime in check tho – for that I still love them and will return for Hulu 2.0

  35. M. Salive says:

    I’ve had Hula+ for awhile, but rarely use it as I’m ALREADY paying for HBO, STARZ and Showtime via DTV. I’m not paying anymore money to anyone else. This new (or not quite so new) business model where everyone has a hand in my wallet is annoying the hell out of me. Even Windows 10 your operating system (not mine, I didn’t upgrade!) is going to cost you money every month. Lose your job?? Have horrible medical bills? Can’t afford to pay them too! Can’t use your computer now! That’s just BS. We already have so many more bills now a days then we had 20 or more years ago. Stop the Madness!

    • Windows 10 is not going to cost you every month. Learn to not believe everything you read on the Internet and to not perpetuate such BS.

      • Bonita1973 says:

        I agree. Whenever they partner with other companies everything goes downhill. It’s all about money. Even Lifetime is messed up now and you can’t use it without cable service. Used to be free. Big corporations are just sinister and greedy. No one will ever convince me they’re not. They won’t always be in power. They just think they will.

  36. EricJ says:

    Before we get more confusion, they’re not ending HuluPlus, they’re ending Hulu Minus, that first cheap little free effort from ’01 that couldn’t afford to air anything but public-domain content, back when everyone thought we’d be watching on our desktops. Y’know, the one nobody knew was still around.
    Now, when will Sony get rid of Crackle?

    • Antenna Man says:

      Who cares if they get rid of Crackle. I’ve seen all 5 movies that they have a few years back and the only thing new under the comedy section is Seinfeld shows from the 90’s. Sorry but Seinfeld is NOT funny. Also since they put out their new guide, even though I have a large TV, I can not make out the titles of the movies they are repeatedly showing unless I stop on each title on my Roku.

    • slackerinc says:

      The one nobody knew was still around? Speak for yourself! I am a cordcutter and I have used Hulu for years to watch network shows. I have never paid a dime, although I periodically used the free months they offered.

      I will now start using Yahoo View, which sounds like the same thing.

  37. They’ll say hello to Pirate Bay for downloading their favorite tv shows.

    • Growbuck says:

      I’ll pay for commercial free current content. The problem is, Hulu’s next day content selection has been reduced so dramatically that their competitive advantage as an aggregator is nearly gone. Examples: Blacklist; the CW shows; Vikings; the Last Ship and so many more. I’m thinking of cancelling and using the individual channels from now on.

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