Hulu Plus, Hulu’s subscription service that gives you access to lots of back catalogs of network shows, just dropped its price from $9.99 to $7.99. But is that enough to make the struggling service worthwhile?
Here’s my issue with Hulu Plus: for about the same price as Netflix’s streaming service, you get a fraction of the content. They only offer network shows, not cable shows, so you’re limited to only some of what you’d really want in a TV streaming service. Even worse, the cable content available on regular Hulu isn’t available on Plus, which makes little sense to consumers expecting more content for their money rather than less. Shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League are nowhere to be found on the premium service if you’re trying to stream to your TV.
Not only that, but they make you watch ads even if you’re a paying customer. It’s something that goes against how pretty much every other premium service works. Want it for free? You’ll pay by watching ads. Willing to pony up some cash? You can get rid of the ads. From websites to cellphone apps, it’s what people expect when they pay for a premium service like this. To hit you with ads even when you’re paying a monthly fee feels like double dipping.
And that’s probably why only 4% of Hulu users are Plus subscribers. And neither of these things have anything to do with the price. If Hulu Plus offered more content more consistently and did it without forcing me to sit through ads, I would be happy to pay that original $10 price every month, if not more. Hell, if they included cable shows on there and ditched the ads I’d be willing to pay $20. But until they fix the basic problems with the service, they shouldn’t expect anyone to get too excited over a $2 price cut.