Hulu shuts down free streaming service as it expands distribution deal with Yahoo

Hulu has put an end to its free ad-supported service / Hulu

Hulu fans will have to say goodbye to free streaming, as the company switches over to a subscription only model.

The platform says that it will phase out its free ad-supported offering over the next few weeks, which until now has allowed people to watch the most recent five episodes of several Fox, ABC, and NBC show for free.

The news comes as the streaming service has inked a partnership with Yahoo around the launch of a new online video gateway dubbed Yahoo View. The portal will feature Hulu’s free content, as well as short video extras and posts from Tumblr.

The deal cements the pair’s longstanding relationship which has seen Yahoo act as a distributor of Hulu content in the past. Hulu and Yahoo will split any ad revenue generated from the deal, with ads being sold by Hulu.

While Yahoo will now have the status of ‘preferred partner,’ the deal isn’t exclusive and Hulu will still stream content on other platforms like Comcast, New York Magazine and People.com.

The move comes less than a week after Time Warner announced that it is paying $583m to take a 10 per cent stake in Hulu, joining existing owners like Comcast, Disney and 21st Century Fox.

Hulu now offers two subscription packages, one at $7.99 per-month with commercials and one at $11.99 per month without any ads.

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