Hulu Explains Why Hulu Plus Shows Ads, Has Limited Content

Underwhelmed by Hulu Plus, Hulu’s pay service that lets users watch programming through the PlayStation 3, iPhone and other devices for $10 a month, Helen wrote the company about her disappointment. Hulu responded with an email that explains the service’s quirks:

Hi Loyal Hulu Watcher,

I’m so sorry it took so long for us to get back to you, however, I’d like to start off by thanking you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. 3 cents is always better than 2 cents, in my opinion, and with Hulu Plus being such a new service for all of us, your constructive comments are extremely helpful in helping us shape our service for the future.

You are correct, our current availability of content on Hulu Plus is limited. From our side of the fence, our team is hard at work during this Preview period to secure the legal rights to acquire more content for when all the popular Fall series return from hiatus, or when new shows release from development. In the ideal world, we would absolutely love and want nothing more but to be able to get every popular show out there that users love, and acquire the legal rights to stream them across every fancy device imaginable at the price that everybody wants. Unfortunately, due to stringent contract agreements on how content can be shared through certain devices, we are not able to have all of the content that everyone wants at this time. If you’d like to see a current list of the shows we do have, you can take a look here: We will be updating this list regularly as more shows are added on, and we anticipate to have a more full catalog once Hulu Plus exits its Preview period.

I hear your concern about having to pay for Hulu Plus and watch ads. To provide a bit of background, the reason we include advertisements in Hulu Plus is to reduce the monthly subscription price of the service. We want to deliver a great service at a low price point. Premium content, especially when we’re dealing with episodes from the current TV season, is expensive to make and license, and we need to compensate our content partners fairly for the valuable entertainment they provide. Similar to cable television, ads allow us to reduce the monthly subscription to you in exchange for your viewership. We’re constantly working to tailor the ad experience to your interests to make it more relevant and useful, and the ad experience for Hulu Plus follows the same limited commercial model that you see on today. In addition, we’re always evaluating new business models, including the option of a higher priced, ad-free model. Nothing is set in stone, and we are always open for new options. Thank you for reaching out to us, and whether you are tuning in to Hulu Plus or our free Hulu website, we genuinely appreciate the words that you have to share.

If customers don’t find Hulu Plus is worthwhile at $10 a month, especially with Netflix offering considerably more streaming content at $9, maybe Hulu Plus needs more commercials to drive the price lower.

Have you used Hulu Plus? What changes do you demand in order to subscribe?

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