If you’re the kind of person that loves streaming movies and televisions shows and doesn’t mind putting up with ads in order to keep the service completely free, then we’ve got some interesting news for you. Hulu announced today that it is killing off its free, ad-supported streaming service in favor of a subscription-only model.
Hulu is no doubt making this move to better compete with paid subscription services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, both of which offer a wealth of original content that has garnered critical praise. Eliminating the free tier leaves behind two paid subscription options. Customers can pay $7.99 per month and put up with a few ads, or pay $11.99 for a completely ad-free experience.
According to Variety, Hulu fans will only have a few more weeks to enjoy the free service before they have to pony up for either of the paid subscription options.
However, Hulu has made an arrangement to expand its distribution partnership with Yahoo. As a result, this will see the rise of a new service called Yahoo View, which will offer thousands of full-length “premium” TV show episodes and movies. This service will be offered free of charge, supported by advertising — sound familiar? Some of the TV programming available include Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Scandal, and Nashville.
Just like the free tier of Hulu, Yahoo View can only be accessed through a desktop web browser, which greatly limits its appeal. That means you can’t use a streaming device like a Roku, Apple TV or Fire TV to access the content. However, content will later be available for viewing using mobile web browser or via mobile apps.
“This partnership with Hulu is a natural extension of that strategy, bringing the best of TV and entertainment content to our lifestyle vertical,” said Yahoo VP Phil Lynch.
Last week, Verizon expanded its multimedia aspirations by purchasing Yahoo for a $4.83 billion. That’s just a small fraction of the $44.6 billion that Microsoft offered for the company way back in early 2008.