Hulu will no longer offer free TV episodes, moves to subscription-only model


After over 9 years, Hulu is making a major change to its services by shutting down free TV episodes and moving to subscription services only (via Variety). Current subscribers won’t be affected and prices won’t be changing as the same $7.99 and $11.99 plans will be available, however all free content will be moving over to “Yahoo View”.

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Hulu senior VP and head of experience Ben Smith had the following to say regarding the elimination of the free service.

For the past couple years, we’ve been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers. As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy.

Hulu has decided to partner with Yahoo to create a new, ad-supported and free platform for streaming new TV episodes. The platform is available now and contains a selection of TV episodes which users could previously view on Hulu’s list of free content. This content consists mainly of shows from ABC, NBC, and Fox along with miscellaneous clips and other series as well as some anime shows. Yahoo View will offer the 5 most recent episodes of these shows starting 8 days after they have aired on live TV.

For now this service is available only on the web although Android and iOS apps are coming soon, however no release windows was revealed.

Phil Lynch, Yahoo’s VP and head of media partnerships released the following statement in regard to Yahoo’s new partnership with Hulu.

Video is an important part of Yahoo’s strategy and we’re committed to delivering the best digital video content to our users. To date, we’ve streamed amazing experiences across sports, finance, and news. This partnership with Hulu is a natural extension of that strategy, bringing the best of TV and entertainment content to our lifestyle vertical.

This news comes just a few days after it was announced that Time Warner had taken a 10% stake in Hulu to bring new content to the site as well as being involved with Hulu’s live TV service.

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Ben is a writer primarily on 9to5Google who can also be found over on Twitter @NexusBen.