UPDATED: Hulu experienced broad technical difficulties Thursday for more than two hours, as thousands of users spanning the U.S. logged complaints about problems with streaming video and accessing the Hulu app.
At about 10:45 p.m. ET, a rep for Disney Streaming Services, which operates Hulu, said in an email, “We have resolved the technical issue that temporarily impacted Hulu. We apologize for the inconvenience.” The spokesperson did not say whether customers would be eligible for refunds because of the outage.
User reports of issues with Hulu began to spike around 8 p.m. ET, according to monitoring site Downdetector — with more than 57,000 complaints registered as of 8:21 p.m. ET. The problems were reported across the country, with reports concentrated in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
According to user reports, the problems with Hulu were occurring on both the on-demand and live TV sides of the service across multiple devices.
A message on Hulu’s main support website said, “Playback unavailable? We’re investigating the issue with the highest priority and hope to have things back up and running soon. Thanks for your patience!”
Screenshot of Hulu’s technical support site on April 21
There were no evident issues Thursday evening with Disney+ or ESPN+, which are also operated and managed by Disney Streaming Services.
Meanwhile, the main page for hulu.com on Thursday displayed an error message to logged-in users that said, “We’ll be back. This page is temporarily unavailable. Please try refreshing the page or go back to the homepage.” Other attempts to access hulu.com returned an error message that said, “upstream request timeout.”
With the Hulu app, users reported that when they tried to stream a title, they saw an error message reading, “We’re having trouble playing this. Rest assured, we’re working on it. In the meantime, it may help if you restart the video.” On some connected TV platforms, launching the Hulu app produced an error message that read, “Sorry. Hulu was unable to start. Please exit and try again.”
In October 2011, Disney raised the price of Hulu’s VOD streaming packages by $1 for both current and new subscribers. Hulu with ads increased from $5.99 to $6.99 per month and Hulu without ads went up from $11.99 to $12.99 per month.
Then in December, Hulu hiked the price of its live TV plans by $5 per month, and with the fee increase started bundling Disney+ and ESPN+ with Hulu + Live TV subscriptions. The live TV service costs $69.99/month (with ads in the subscription VOD content) or $75.99/month (no SVOD ads).
Hulu had 45.3 million total subscribers as of the end of 2021, including 4.3 million on the live TV tiers.