Say goodbye to free TV, on August 8th Hulu became a purely subscription-based streaming service. Two plans now exist, one with commercials ($7.99/month) and one without ($11.99/month). I can’t say I’m surprised by the move, bummed yes, but this has been a long time coming.
Content has slowly been making its way behind the Hulu Plus paywall and it’s not like Hulu’s stakeholders – Comcast, 21st Century FOX, The Walt Disney Company, and Time Warner produce and distribute content out of the kindness of their hearts.
If you’re now panicking because the Fall TV season is just weeks away, hold your horses. Apparently Hulu is teaming up with Yahoo to offer the five most recent episodes of NBC, FOX, and ABC’s shows eight days after they air, for free, on Yahoo View. Select shows from other networks will also be available, but specifics are still unknown.
What is Yahoo View you ask? Well, Yahoo View as I see it is Yahoo’s newest attempt at being relevant to the streaming crowd after Yahoo Screen was shut down earlier this year. Content will have commercials, but the site will also offer a wide variety of anime, full seasons of Korean dramas, and British and Latino TV shows. In addition to the actual clips and episodes, Yahoo View is boasting something called a “beyond the episode” section that you can read more about here.
However, I wouldn’t count Hulu out. Free or not, I still agree with Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff that Hulu is the best streaming site for TV addicts. If you’re a cord cutter I stand by that assessment even more. Not only does Hulu allow you to keep up with TV shows in-season, but the library runs deep and their original programs are increasing in number as well.
Oh, and did I mention that you can include Showtime as an add-on, because that’s a nice perk too. There’s something to be said for having almost all of your TV available under one login. And of course Hulu is supported on a plethora of devices like the Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, and Playstation 4.
With these changes, will you be subscribing to Hulu or frequenting Yahoo like it’s 1999? Sound off in the comments section below?