In a quick and surprising turn of events, Hulu is no longer offering a free, ad-supported version of its platform. Rather, there will be a $7.99-per-month version with limited commercials and a no-ads version for $11.999 per month.
For those still not willing to make a paid commitment to Hulu, the streaming service is partnering with Yahoo View, which launched today and will offer for free the last five episodes of ABC, NBC, FOX shows (eight days after original broadcast), shows from other networks, day-after clips, and full seasons of anime and Korean drama.
Hulu choosing to discontinue a native version of its ad-free service, and the fact that even on Yahoo View the free episodes will be made available only eight days after the original broadcast, can partly be attributed to how unpredictable TV monetization has become. That, and the group of broadcasters who own Hulu – The Walt Disney Company, Comcast, 21st Century Fox, and Time Warner among them – have likely become tired of giving content away.
The Yahoo View component of the announcement is interesting in that just as Twitter has entered into agreements with major sports leagues to livestream games and complement those games with the surrounding conversation on the platform, Yahoo will look to surface the Tumblr conversation about the show that’s playing.
“As a TV junkie and Tumblr fan myself, I’m personally excited to have one place that brings together the best of free TV and Tumblr fandom,” said Jess Lee, Vice President of Lifestyles Product at Yahoo, “Yahoo View is our first step towards creating a powerful community TV-watching experience, but it’s really only the beginning.”