Good news for Hulu Plus subscribers: Hulu CEO is considering running fewer ads

14 Comments

Think there are too many ads on Hulu Plus? You’re not alone: Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins is considering reducing the ad load on Hulu’s paid subscription tier, according to a New York Post report. Hulu has been showing users more than 80 ads per month, compared to 32 on YouTube, according to the Post. Of course, paying Netflix subscribers don’t have to endure any ads — but it’s unlikely Hulu would go that far any time soon: The service just launched in-app subscriptions for its iPhone app, making it even more dependent on advertising for paying users.

14 Comments

ml

Been a Netflix customer for years. Just signed up to Hulu Plus for watching shows not available on netflix. Never used hulu before, dont mind the monthly, could be double for all we care. We access huluplus through our nexus tv device.

1. Shocked about seasons missing early episodes, or -worse- partial seasons. +1 netflix.
2. Shocked about having to watch ads. +1 Netflix.
3. Shocked about adult content pushed on main landing screen. +1 Netflix.
4. Shocked about lack of parental settings. -1 Hulu
5. Already have tv and DVR. -1 Hulu.
6. 50 mb FiOS connection. Playback failures after 30mn. -1 Hulu
7. Etc, many app nit picky stuff adding to the irritation. -1 Hulu

Verdict: dropping Hulu plus.
#1 is a deal breaker,
#2 makes #1 unbearable,
#3 is unforgivable for household streaming.

Simon Quizno

I’m dropping h+ today. I’d been paying for the service for a few months and hadn’t been using it much until a snowstorm recently we started watching some of the old-reruns of some show. The ads are beyond irritating. I kept looking to make sure we were logged into to h+ and not just h since I thought the + meant no ads. No luck.

We went thru a bunch of episodes of the same show and every episode had the same ad for some children’s movie, then a “choose your ad experience” that made me select between 2 Whole Foods ads. Same ads…every episode. C’mon H…don’t tell me you don’t have info that tells you that we are a couple in our 50’s that are not dumb enough to shop at Whole Foods….not to mention that we live about 200 miles from the nearest store.

Seeing the same limited ad routine on other shows tells me they have limited ad clients which probably led to the change in plans. Well too late.

Good night H+.

Hulu Paid Subscriber

Hulu, you are nothing but a dvr made available to people without dvr. I have a dvr so screw you! …rediculous I have to spend 45 mins to watch a 30 min old ass episode of whatever.

John

Watching 4 ads is no different than watching the show from my dvr. Considering dropping the service If this is not corrected soon.

PissedOff

Hulu ads are bad enough but now “pick your ad experience” you have to be f***ing joking. I do NOT want interactive ads from anyone and least of all from HULU. Just what is the point of paying in the first place for you to bug the crap out of me with demands for reponses.

'merica

Hulu has shows that Netflix doesn’t have. In my mind, it’s worth the ads. Netflix also costs more.

Kristel Encarnacion

Hulu your explanation about adds and why are lame, greed maybe ? I say bye to you for the last time . You are like like that bad boyfriend that promises too much offers little and at the end expects you to pay half of the tab

Calvin Jones

don’t like service go somewhere else those ads are going to stay they pay for the content you watch on huluplus!!

Sam

I had Hulu Plus last year and ended up regretting it most of the year. At the beginning, Hulu was showing next to no ads on Chromecast, and sometimes there wouldn’t be any ads at all (I assume that was a bug). I tested it against the Roku and noticed that the ad load was consistently much lower. However, sometime during the year they brought the two devices to parity.

Hulu Plus is just a hard sell to me. Most of the content is not very good, since it’s from the broadcast networks. Even for the couple shows that are good, if you didn’t start watching them immediately (or had watched them in past seasons), there usually wasn’t a way to go back and catch up. And to top it all off, there were just ads galore. I also noticed the picture quality was subpar, even when Amazon, Google Play, and Netflix come in fantastic. So this year I have just purchased the shows I am interested in, even though buying two shows costs more than paying for Hulu Plus the entire season, and every show after that is even more. I decided that if Hulu Plus fixed all of it’s problems, I’d be willing to pay $20 a month for it’s content. So far, I haven’t exceeded that number for shows I’ve bought myself (based on a seasonally adjusted basis). I especially think comedies (Modern Family, Community) work well as purchases, because I know I’ll go back and rewatch them again as time goes on.

The only thing I really like about Hulu Plus is the late night talk shows. They didn’t do a good job of exposing it in the app, but picking a couple clips that looked interesting from the night before is something I did enjoy. Also, skimming through SNL skit by skit and skipping the terrible ones made the show entirely watchable.

On an unrelated note, I started using HBO Go recently, and I can’t believe the praise that has been heaped on that service. The app is terrible. Let’s say I want to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm from the beginning. Every time I open it (on Android/Chromecast), I have to go search for the show, the season, and the episode I want. The app is set up for people who already have HBO and only want to catch the latest episodes. If you add an episode to your watchlist, you cannot get to the next episode after you’re done. This adds to my belief that HBO “doesn’t get it” when it comes to what a network will be. I saw an interview last year where an HBO exec said they found most new HBO Go viewers weren’t going back and watching older shows from the beginning. Well duh. The app actively discourages you from doing this. Every time HBO opens there mouth and says “customers don’t want to do this thing that they are doing by the millions on Netflix” it seems like what they really mean is “we aren’t smart enough to make it easy for customers to do this thing.” It also really makes me appreciate how well designed the Netflix app is, something I was just taking for granted.

Other mistakes HBO is making include renting their back catalog to Amazon instead of using it to grow their customer base, thinking that HBO the channel is their main product instead of throwing their entire weight behind “HBO Go” (the fact it’s called that instead of just HBO demonstrates this beautifully), allowing the cable companies to control the advertising and customer service experience (TWC is universally hated where I live and most people seem to think HBO and TWC are the same thing, because there isn’t a commercial without the two together), and finally, not attempting to increase their content library like Netflix. More content equals larger potential customer base. It’s a virtuous cycle that is going to make Netflix an absolute monster in a couple years, and HBO is just watching them pass them by while muttering “next quarters projected profit”.

Mike

Why does netflix have poor free cash flow and have to keep borrowing money?

Tom

Yawn. They’ll only be relevant when they reduce the number of ads to zero. Like most people, I take the view that they can have my monthly fee or they can make me watch ads, but they can’t have both.

Since Hulu is run by TV folk, this obsolete business model is probably all they know. It’s nice that they seem to finally be catching on, but it’s a bit late since the millions of people who have ditched cable in the last few years don’t really need what they’re selling.

In order to attract the people who are just _now_ ditching cable, they’ll need to offer some shows worth paying for. They prop up their numbers by offering clips and teasers for other shows, but they actually offer full episodes for very few shows.

(As an aside, their FAQ entry spinning why they make you pay and still have ads is a PR masterpiece: “We include advertisements in Hulu Plus in order to reduce the monthly subscription price of the service….we have found that by including a modest ad load, we can keep the price for Hulu Plus under eight bucks” That is, until you realize that Netflix is also under eight bucks, has far more content — including some great original shows like House of Cards — and yet they don’t make their customers suffer through ads.).

IPTV

They can keep their “fewer” ads. I recently cut the cord and will not pay again for a delivery system that includes ads, and have never used Hulu Plus for the same reason. You either charge me for the programming, or show me ads. Pick only one. Goodbye cable/satellite, sorry Hulu Plus, hello Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others. In fact, I recently noticed some nice new channels on Roku that now offer three options to watch a show: subscription, pay-per-view, or free/ad-supported. That’s exactly how it should be.

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