Well, Hulu didn’t send a press release, write a short blog, or even make a peep on Twitter about the changing of Hulu free content. Hulu is no longer free! Instead, the news about this change emerged in a story by Hollywood Reporters.
However, noting that Hulu will send out messages to the affected users in the coming days, along with free trials to the paid version. Variety Reports states that Hulu will phase out its free service cover over the next few weeks.
However, it is suiting to say that while this is technically the end for Hulu’s free website. Therefore, the impact and implications have been overblown by tech writers and TV industry observers.
But the truth is that Hulu lost its zeal for streaming years ago. Thereby shutting down the free section of Hulu.com is more symbolic than consequential. Also, Hulu free content, especially to watch free TV episodes, movies, shows from the major networks will remain available elsewhere for the foreseeable future.
Free Hulu: A story of disdain – Hulu Plus
In the year 2010, When Hulu launched its Hulu Plus subscription service, the free version quickly became an afterthought. So, if you wanted Hulu on iPhones, iPads, game consoles, and smart TVs, you needed to pay $8 per month for Hulu plus. There was no free connection for this new wave of the connected device because the whole Hulu plus strategy depends on device access as a feature.
More so, Hulu even attacks workarounds that let people stream where they weren’t supposed to. The company blocked access to the free website through TV-optimized PC software such as Boxee and Kylo, and through Google TV devices. To the extent that when Androids phones gained the ability to run Adobe Flash, Hulu blocked those devices too.
However, Free episodes on Androids disappeared sometimes in last year, while promises of a free iPhone version never materialized at all. Meanwhile, Hulu has pushed its free web version into the dark. The only way a subscriber can now to reach the free content now is to sign in, click on your name, and then click “TV” on the top navigation bar. Even then, finding full episodes takes some digging.
Why Hulu is doing this! – Hulu Movies
The end of free Hulu movies brings some observers to think that the company`s media conglomerate owners are sending a message. However, if you want Hollywood content, you will have to pay for it.
But the reality is that the free content model doesn’t work, at least not for Hulu. Moreover, the company has been spending a lot of money on content as it tries to keep up with Netflix and Amazon. More so, both of which charge for their services.
It bought the rights to the full Seinfeld catalog, signed an expensive deal for Disney Channel shows. Also, secured Amazon, both of which charge for their services.
Therefore, securing streaming rights to new FX and AMC series, and invested in an ambitious slate of original programming.
Whereas, even with this new emphasis on paid subscriptions, Hulu’s bet might not be paying off. There are signs that the company`s subscription growth might be slowing. Also, in a recent New York Times report, analyst Richard Greenfield estimated the company was losing close to $5 million per year. A model that focused on free, ad-supported content would likely put Hulu even deeper in the hole.
What this means for subscribers
Since Hulu.com no longer host free content, individual networks like NBC, ABC. Also, Fox will continue to stream full episodes on their own desktop websites, and without Hulu navigation hurdles.
NBC and ABC even offer free shows on mobile and connected TV devices. Furthermore, invariably means that these networks still believes in giving TV episodes away. But only if you engage directly with brands on their own terms.
And again, you also have Yahoo view, which will act as a portal. Also, for the latest five episodes on network TV shows. Besides, Yahoo might even provide a better experience than Hulu did. More so, with shoe pages that include extras, previews, recaps, and links to related Tumblr blogs.