I need to spend more time tinkering with Hulu Plus, but there are some reviews in, for the site’s new subscription alternative. Hulu Plus is in its private preview phase, so it’s slightly unfair to judge it as a final product. Nevertheless, NewTeeVee has compiled some of the most worthwhile responses, found on popular tech sites that have spent the last few days test-driving the platform. For the most part, the feedback is very positive. If there is any common complaint, though, it comes from the fact that advertisements still stream behind the subscription paywall. So, as the service works now, you still have to watch ads even after paying the subscription fee. A few commenters have raised a valid counterpoint: you pay for your cable subscription, and that’s almost entirely comprised of channels that still use advertising. With a deep catalog of content that will surely grow deeper as the service officially launches, Hulu Plus stands to be a viable contender. From the NewTeeVee report:
Despite the fact that most reviewers found the apps easy-to-use and video quality of the streams good, there was one issue that many had with the service, which was ads. In addition to charging users $9.99 for access to the service, Hulu Plus also delivers a substantial ad load against the videos that are displayed, a “feature” that most reviewers found to be a problem.
In his review of the service, VideoNuze’s Will Richmond called out the ads in his review, writing: “The biggest problem with the ads is that they are discordant with consumer expectations for a paid subscription service.” In other words, users typically don’t want to feel like they’re paying twice — once for the subscription and again by watching an ad.
That complaint apparently resonates with potential consumers, and is one apparent reason why the iPad app has received only one-and-a-half stars in its reviews on the Apple app store. The early response in the app store has been overwhelmingly negative, with many one-star reviews containing comments like, “They want $10/mo to watch TV shows WITH COMMERCIALS included. No thanks,” and “What idiot would pay 10 bucks a month to watch ads.” While the service isn’t open to the general public, it’s that type of negative response from users that might hold back adoption of the service from mainstream America.