One of the biggest knocks against Hulu Plus is that, in spite of the $7.99 monthly subscription, users are still subjected to ads on most of the premium content. Meanwhile, Netflix and Amazon Prime offer competing streaming services for about the same amount of money but without the annoying ad interruptions. The solution? Charge more for an ad-free tier!
At least that’s what Hulu’s VP of Content and Acting CEO Andy Forssell said at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference.
“Allowing people to pay more and not have advertising at all, I think that’s the right path long term,” Forsell explained, according to Variety. “I’m a big believer in choice… I believe over time we should introduce an ad-free service.”
When Hulu Plus originally launched, it charged $9.99 a month, but soon dropped that price to $7.99 to compete with Netflix. Hulu Plus has ads on almost all of its content, though paying subscribers see fewer ads than those who just watch Hulu for free.
He also expects that more of the networks that contribute content to Hulu — NBC and ABC — to follow the lead of Fox, makes new episodes available on Hulu Plus almost immediately after airing, but delays making content available online for everyone until a week later.
“I have no inside information. But I expect all the broadcast networks to institute a delay as they reach retrans deals (with pay TV operators),” said Forsell. “The economics make that inevitable, but I couldn’t guess at the timing.”