Hulu is looking to introduce an ad-free option — but it'll cost you
Are you an avid Hulu user who dreams of watching your fave programs sans ads? Have faith, because your prayers may soon be answered.
According to the Wall Street Journal, those “familiar with the matter” (oooh, mysterious) say that the streaming service we all know and love may soon be releasing a version that allows users to watch their programs ad-free. But, of course, there’s a catch: You’ll have to fork over a bit of cash.
This new Hulu option has its own codename, according to WSJ: “NOAH.” Yeah, we like the name too, but it actually is an acronym for “No Ads Hulu.” Currently, the premium service on Hulu costs $7.99 per month (and the Showtime add-on runs an additional $8.99), but if you’re dying to binge-watch The Mindy Project and Seinfeld without bothering with those pesky ads, NOAH will allow you to do so for an estimated $12 to $14 per month.
This price is a bit more than Netflix‘s monthly plans, which range from $7.99 to $11.99 and are all ad-free; the WSJ report says that Hulu knows rolling out an ad-free version may eat into its advertising business, hence the higher prices. That said, it’s rumored that Netflix CEO Reed Hasting told investors in a meeting that Netflix users may be seeing a price increase in the near future, so they may end up being pretty equal in price after all.
As TIME points out, Netflix currently has far more subscribers (65 million) than Hulu does (9 million), and Netflix also garnered a whopping $5.5 billion in 2014 compared to Hulu’s $1.5 – 1.7 billion. NOAH is likely a move to step up Hulu’s game as competition between the two companies rise (though we were pretty impressed with the whole streaming-all-the-Seinfeld-reruns move — good on ya, Hulu!). Though the price may be pretty steep compared to Netflix’s current pricing, as Tech Crunch points out, Hulu’s ad-free streaming may open the company up to a portion of the TV-loving audience which hates ads so much that they would never try out Hulu in the first place.
Either way, we’re super pumped about this new option, but when can we watch our fave shows on Hulu without those pesky ads. If this new Hulu option sounds perfect to you, you’re in luck: according to the WSJ‘s sources, this new feature may be coming out as early as this fall. Listen, Hulu, let’s strike up a deal — we’re OK with that price hike if you announce The Mindy Project’s season four premiere date ASAP. OK? OK.
(Image via IMDb.)