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Friday, September 11, 2015

Hulu Introduces Ad-Free Pricing

Hulu has announced a new pricing tier for customers who don't want to sit through advertisements. While the $7.99 plan already limits the number of commercials subscribers see, the No Commercial Plan offers exactly that at $11.99 a month. That's an extra $4.00 every month - $48.00 a year.

This tier has been soft-launched with little fanfare - at least not that I have seen - so it may not be perfected yet. I hope this doesn't mean they will show more commercials on the Limited Commercial Plan. I've heard others complain about the number of ads on Hulu, but Hulu doesn't interrupt movies with commercial breaks. It's also good when binge-watching shows - it still shows commercials, but it may play for several hours between them.

Hulu also features a new tab on the Account page labeled "Add-Ons." At this time, the only option is to subscribe to Showtime for $8.99 (monthly) - which is a savings of $2.00 per month off the regular Showtime subscription. It also consolidates your viewing options, as the Roku global search function is not as good as it can be right now. Instead of leaning on that to find titles you want to see, you can search across Hulu, and you don't have to change stations to view Showtime content. I assume Autoplay includes Showtime programs in its mix, but I don't know that it does.

The savings and convenience of Showtime as a Hulu Add-On is enticing, though I'm still holding-out for now, but a $4.00 price hike for no commercials seems a bit excessive. Not only can I not afford it, I honestly don't mind the infrequent commercial interruptions.

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