Hulu drops cost of ad-based tier, but hikes Live TV option to $44.99

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 23
Hulu on Wednesday announced significant changes to its pricing schemes, making it cheaper to get in the door of the streaming service, but more expensive for access to Live TV.

Hulu Live TV


An ad-supported on-demand plan is dropping from $7.99 to $5.99 on Feb. 26. The No Ads plan will remain at $11.99, but Live TV is rising from $39.99 to $44.99 per month, making it definitively pricier than options like Sling TV or YouTube TV. Customers can go a step further with a No Ads/Live TV bundle costing $50.99.

To compensate somewhat, Hulu is reducing its Enhanced Cloud DVR and Unlimited Screens add-ons from $14.99 to $9.99, and offering them together for $14.98.

Hulu said the Live TV hike is justified by the addition of more channels in the past year, as well as technology upgrades including more compatible devices.

Conversely, lowering the entry fee may be a way of capturing people from Netflix, typically considered the leader in on-demand streaming. The company recently raised prices for its Standard and Premium subscriptions, hoping that its original shows and movies are enough of a draw to keep people paying.

Apple is poised to introduce its own video streaming service sometime this year, with over $1 billion invested in original programming. Initially it may make first-party shows free to watch on its hardware, counting on subscriptions to outside services to make money.

In the long term Apple is allegedly pursuing "tentpole" shows that could prop up a paid-only plan. That may be a challenge if it doesn't abandon family-friendly content rules -- one of the appeals of services like Netflix or Hulu is the ability to watch uncensored content.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    They're all falling into the same, inevitable trap: "more is better" and "therefore, we will charge more." 

    It's only a matter of time before they look and price like cable companies.
    tmaymacseekerjason leavittberndogapplesnorangesblurpbleepbloop
  • Reply 2 of 10
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 279member
    Soon to be controlled by Disney, Hulu wants the cable bundle pricing. Make book on AT&T and DTVN as well.
    edited January 23
  • Reply 3 of 10
    The only price I'd be willing to pay for the plan with ads is $0. I'd pay $1.99 for the plan without ads, considering they have about 2 shows a year I'd want to watch. Live TV for $45 is insane. Someone would need to pay me to watch that. I guess I'm not their target audience. I hope someone else is for their sake.
    jason leavittmdriftmeyerberndog
  • Reply 4 of 10
    The only price I'd be willing to pay for the plan with ads is $0. I'd pay $1.99 for the plan without ads, considering they have about 2 shows a year I'd want to watch. Live TV for $45 is insane. Someone would need to pay me to watch that. I guess I'm not their target audience. I hope someone else is for their sake.
    Amazon/IMDb already does a free ad supported movie service and I can imagine they’ll continue to experiment with this.

    http://www.aftvnews.com/imdb-freedive-is-amazons-new-free-ad-supported-movie-and-tv-streaming-service/

    Any service that offers CNN as part of a subscription won’t get my money.
    edited January 23
  • Reply 5 of 10
    payecopayeco Posts: 287member
    The only price I'd be willing to pay for the plan with ads is $0. I'd pay $1.99 for the plan without ads, considering they have about 2 shows a year I'd want to watch. Live TV for $45 is insane. Someone would need to pay me to watch that. I guess I'm not their target audience. I hope someone else is for their sake.
    They had a deal on Cyber Monday for 12 months of the service with ads for $0.99 a month. We signed up because ‘why not’ at that price. I doubt we’re going to renew at the end of the year though, even with the reduced pricing.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    A few weeks ago I signed up for Hulu's promo offer of $12/year for their ad-supported service. Every day or two I search their movie and TV show offerings trying to find something I am interested in watching. Their movie selection is pretty weak, and their TV show selection is not much better. Out of curiosity and desperation to find at least ONE thing to watch on Hulu I started watching "The Last Man on Earth" created by and starring Will Forte. I was pleasantly surprized and actually started binge watching the first few seasons. Other than that, Hulu has been a big disappointment, and I don't plan to continue subscribing after my promo deal expires. 

    The Hulu Live TV service is something I might be interested in, but there are currently much more affordable options. $44.99 a month? No thanks.
    edited January 23
  • Reply 7 of 10
    larz2112 said:
    A few weeks ago I signed up for Hulu's promo offer of $12/year for their ad-supported service. Every day or two I search their movie and TV show offerings trying to find something I am interested in watching. Their movie selection is pretty weak, and their TV show selection is not much better. Out of curiosity and desperation to find at least ONE thing to watch on Hulu I started watching "The Last Man on Earth" created by and starring Will Forte. I was pleasantly surprized and actually started binge watching the first few seasons. Other than that, Hulu has been a big disappointment, and I don't plan to continue subscribing after my promo deal expires. 

    The Hulu Live TV service is something I might be interested in, but there are currently much more affordable options. $44.99 a month? No thanks.
    I've actually found quite a few shows on Hulu worth watching. Their original content (Handmade's Tale, Castle Rock, 11.22.63) is all brilliant, and there are plenty of older series on Hulu that Netflix and Amazon don't carry. I've been binging The Last Ship recently, and have also enjoyed (re)visiting some old shows like Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

    I watch Hulu far more than I do any of the other services and pay extra for no commercials, because commercials suck. I am surprised to see them raising prices, however, when DTV Now is already less expensive and comes with DVR, and is the only service that carries all the local network channels.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    I will never pay for a service that has ads...in fact, I will never 'watch' a service that has ads.

    I went over to a friend's house to watch the NFL playoff games (did not want to go!) And the interminable commercials were insufferable.

    I kept saying to my friend, "couldn't they just 'steal' our data and not do so many commercials?"

    The terrorists don't have to bomb us, they just have to build more fast food restaurants! :) 

    Best.
    rotateleftbyte
  • Reply 9 of 10
    54 channels with Philo is $20 per month. I dumped DirecTV Now for Philo, and I’m glad I did. A few years in, and DTVN still had bad issues, like recording the wrong shows, even from channels we never watch. It was time to go.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    Honestly, for folks who only watch a handful of shows regularly, it is hard to beat just downloading the episodes thru iTunes or maybe Google Play. No ads. Pristine picture and sound quality (even in the standard definition versions).  Portability if you want that. And you have the option of keeping them for later reuse, if you want. Unless there are a lot of shows involved, there is a good chance you will spend less, maybe a lot less, than any of these streaming services.   

    In addition, in thenpast i would start a series, but it woukd disappear from Netflix before I finished it. It prompted me to sometimes must buy the dvd set (usually lightly used versions on Amazon marketplace), sometimes after just sampling enough episodes to know it interested me, and surprising to me, having disks ended up being a really good alternative — one that seems easily dismissed or forgotten these days. 

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