Now you can watch many of your favorite shows as there were meant to be seen: ad-free. For $11.99 per month, subscribers will have access to (nearly) all Hulu content without the interruption of commercials. That’s $4 more than the pre-existing cost of a Hulu subscription, (and also $4 more than Netflix charges for content that’s already ad-free).
The battle for streaming supremacy has been getting heated this summer, with Hulu upping its game by nabbing exclusive streaming rights to many popular shows (“Seinfeld,” “South Park,” “Fargo,” “Empire”), movies (the network recently swiped Netflix’s streaming rights to EPIX films like “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay”), and releasing top-notch original series (“Difficult People”). Now, they’re offering all of this without ads in an effort to gain on Netflix’s 42 million U.S. subscribers. (Currently, Hulu sports 9 million subscribers of its own.)
“At Hulu, we pride ourselves on listening to our customers and giving them the best possible experience,” Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said in a statement. “Many of our customers have asked us for a commercial free option, and so today we are excited to introduce just that. Providing more choice for consumers is fundamental to the Hulu experience, in addition to an array of choices in content and devices, our customers can now choose to watch with or without commercials.”
What began as a free service to watch last night’s hit shows has evolved to a subscription model with four tiers of pricing. Casual fans can still watch a limited number of next-day TV for free. Subscribers can pay $7.99 to watch all of Hulu’s original content, movies and exclusive seasons of recent TV (plus the limited next-day offerings) with ads, and those willing to pay $11.99 can watch all of this without the commercials. Last but not least, subscribers can also take advantage of Showtime’s premium TV streaming service — with everything from “Homeland” to new movies — for an additional $8.99 per month.
Today’s announcement marks the first time Hulu has offered content without ads.