Hulu is considering offering an ad-free subscription service, according to The Wall Street Journal. The commercial-free tier would be priced above the current premium video service, which costs $7.99 a month but forces viewers to watch ads in the middle of programs. Hulu is codenaming the initiative NOAH — “No-Ads Hulu” — according to the WSJ.
One source indicated that the service could be priced around $12 to $14 a month and may be made available this fall. In comparison, Netflix offers a $7.99 standard-definition streaming plan and an HD option for $1 more, neither of which have commercials.
Although Hulu’s business model, with its dual revenue streams, is arguably more attractive to content owners than how Netflix operates, its reliance on ads at both free and paid levels could be a turnoff to customers. Last month the company removed the “Plus” name from its premium tier, suggesting a possible focus on expanding its 9-million-strong paying subscriber base.
By Sam Byford