Hulu today announced that the company is ending the free, ad-supported tier of its streaming service and focusing on an all-subscription model that will more closely align it to rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime (via Variety). Hulu's free service -- which let users watch the most recent episodes of shows after they aired live on TV -- will still continue, but is being transitioned to a new platform called "Yahoo View," thanks to a distribution partnership between Hulu and Yahoo.

In the free-to-use site Yahoo View, users will be able to watch the five most-recent episodes of shows from networks like ABC, Fox, and NBC, but will now have to wait eight days after they originally air. Yahoo View will also provide clips previewing upcoming episodes and entire seasons of anime and Korean drama series. Users can expect Hulu's free service to be phased out "over the next few weeks."

yahoo view with hulu
Hulu senior vice president Ben Smith said that the main reason behind the move was that the company's free service "became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy." With the elimination of the ad-supported tier, users will have just two options to watch Hulu: its basic $7.99 per month service with commercials, or a higher-tier $11.99 per month option without commercials.

“For the past couple years, we’ve been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers,” Hulu senior VP and head of experience Ben Smith said in a statement. “As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy.”

For now, Yahoo View is available only on the web, but the company said that mobile apps will be coming soon, although no release window was given. Since Yahoo shuttered its digital online video service, Yahoo Screen, earlier in the year, the acquisition of Hulu's former free content is expected to help bolster Yahoo's standing as a contender in the ever-expanding online streaming competition.

For Hulu, the move comes just under a week after Time Warner bought a 10 percent stake in the company to join Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast/NBC Universal as shareholders. Looking forward, Hulu is also prepping a live TV streaming service for sometime in 2017, which would add another subscription tier onto its streaming options with a service that focuses on quality over quantity, since the company "isn’t looking to offer all the hundreds of channels found in the traditional cable bundle."

Tags: Yahoo, Hulu

Top Rated Comments

bushido Avatar
67 months ago
Lol 8 days after they air. 2016 and they still dont understand how the internet works. Sad
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jav6454 Avatar
67 months ago
Hulu is idiotic, they single handedly killed their company. For starters, ads on a paid tier and they claim to compete with Netflix? I'd just rather pay straight up for Netflix and leave Hulu to the dust.

The free tier is how Hulu started and it should re-evaluate their core audience (college students and cord-cutters).
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cerote Avatar
67 months ago
Times change.

I pay for the "ad free" tier. Know how many ads I have watched since it started. None. Guess I just don't watch the like 5 shows that they fall into.

For my family it isn't a competitor for Netflix but compliments it. The two together we have plenty to watch with no need for cable.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
67 months ago
Correct.

Are you aware of what cable companies do to justify what they charge? It's basically nothing. They run a cable out to your house and that's about all. Sometimes they have to fix it. They don't pay the companies that actually make the content - those companies have to collect what they can from ad money.
That is a grossly simplified statement.

I hate cable companies as much as the next guy, but the content producers charge a lot of money for distribution rights. For instance, Disney charges over $6/month to the cable company for just ESPN. Furthermore, Disney often requires cable company to bundle (at additional cost) less popular Disney contents for rights to carry ESPN. And let's not forget that it's these content producers that tackle commercials, not the cable company.

Heck, even free over-the-air local channels charge cable companies for distribution rights.

And in turn, cable companies require certain protections for agreeing to such term, which is why streaming services have ads, delays, and blackout for local sports team.

Furthermore, it is also why cable companies are buying contents left and right (e.g., NBC Universal and Comcast).
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TechZeke Avatar
67 months ago
Hulu is idiotic, they single handedly killed their company. For starters, ads on a paid tier and they claim to compete with Netflix? I'd just rather pay straight up for Netflix and leave Hulu to the dust.

The free tier is how Hulu started and it should re-evaluate their core audience (college students and cord-cutters).
Using your logic, cable should also have no ads since you paying $80 a month.

Netflix also doesn't really have a lot of current stuff, and the licenses to get current stuff are expensive. For the same amount of people complaining about ads on the first paid tier, there would an equal number complaining if Hulu Plus' base price was $13-$15 a month.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ke-iron Avatar
67 months ago
Netflix and Hulu are two different type of streaming service. Netflix doesn't have current tv shows while Hulu has a bunch of current tv shows with latest episodes, that's the major difference.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
Top Stories 74 Thumbnail

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Nears Launch, Larger Apple Watch?, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini Rumors

Saturday August 28, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
August is rapidly drawing to close, which means Apple's annual iPhone launch event is right around the corner. iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 rumors are continuing to circulate, and we're also hearing about Mac updates likely coming a bit later. Apple is also finishing up work on its upcoming software updates like iOS 15, with some late-addition features starting to go live in beta while ...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...