The party is over, ladies and gentlemen. Hulu will no longer be offering free streaming with ads. Over the next few weeks, it will become a subscription-only platform.
So you better go ahead and catch up on “The Blacklist” or “Blindspot” or whatever other shows about international intrigue and people shooting guns while running that you like.
Many think that this move was done in an effort to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime, Hulu's biggest streaming rivals, which cultivate a more loyal and media-ravenous audience through subscriptions, successful, highly produced original shows and adless bingeing.
There will be a limited-commercial subscription at $7.99 a month and a no-commercial subscription at $11.99 a month, making it the most expensive major streaming platform.
The change coincides with Time Warner buying 10 percent of the company for $583 million last week, which likely has a lot to do with the sudden change in business model.
In the words of Hulu's senior VP and “head of experience” (which is, of course, an objectively hilarious job title):
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.
Possibly related to this is the fact that in 2017, Hulu is allegedly going to be launching a live TV service, sort of turning it back into the thing it was designed to be different from in the first place.
There is some silver lining because Hulu is teaming up with Yahoo View, which will be streaming the most recent five episodes of (among others) all ABC, NBC and Fox shows (unfortunately, only eight days after their release). Yahoo View will be ad-supported like Hulu used to be.
Everything comes to an end.