We live in an adapt or die world, and right now, the television landscape is changing all of the time. With the rise of streaming alternatives, TV fans have more options than ever to view their content, and now Hulu might be giving subscribers yet another option to consider. This week, we learned that the subscription streaming service is looking into creating a new commercial-free platform for subscribers. However, that new platform would definitely come at a price.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Hulu is in talks to create another tier to its streaming services. If subscribers were to choose this option, they would pay $12 to $14 dollars a month in order to get rid of the pesky ads that play in the middle of shows that are available via Hulu. If anyone is familiar with Hulu ads, you should already know that Hulu will often play the same 3 or 4 ads over and over during a program, until they eventually get ingrained in our heads. That’s different than what typically happens during primetime or on cable, where the commercials are varied a little more. So having the option to say no to commercials is probably appealing to a lot of people.
However, currently Hulu subscribers only pay $7.99 for the service each month. Jumping up to $12 or $14 dollars wouldn’t break the bank, but in terms of percentages, it would be a huge price increase. And if you are a household that is already paying for Netflix, Amazon, HBO Now, or Sling TV (not to mention normal cable), the costs of all of those services can really add up.
Hulu has less subscribers than Netflix and in order to increase revenue, the service uses commercials to make more money. However, if Hulu increases costs, then the need for advertisements would theoretically wane. Today’s report indicates that Hulu is serious about offering the change. The code name for the new service level is called NOAH and word on the street says that it could be available to subscribers by as early as this fall—just in time for Fall TV to hit the schedule.
Honestly, even if people don’t jump on board quickly to pay for commercial-free Hulu, it doesn’t hurt that consumers might get the option to stream Hulu’s content without the commercials if they want. If people don’t want to pay the extra cost per month, it seems like they will still be able to stick with the good ‘ol commercial ridden version while they watch old episodes of Seinfeld, etc, and thus keep costs down.
Currently, Hulu is staying mum about whether or not project NOAH is in the works, but if they do want to hit that fall deadline, we should be hearing more about the possibility, soon.