hulu plus moves out of preview mode and becomes a fully-offered service with an announcement of a rate DEcrease from $9.99/mo to $7.99/mo. as if that weren’t good news enough, to thank preview members, they are crediting them back $2/mo for every month they’ve been a member, with an extra $2 credit to make up for the free 1-week preview all of us previewers missed. hooray! also added is a referral program where current subscribers can get up to 20 free weeks by referring friends (2 weeks per friend) to hulu plus (UM MY REFERRAL CODE IS BELOW KTHX).
hulu plus is hulu.com’s subscription service that brings two things unavailable to the non-subscriber. first, it opens up a wider selection of content. for instance, on hulu.com, anyone can watch a few episodes from this season of Psych. as a hulu plus subscriber, you can watch every episode of the first four seasons of Psych as well.
secondly, hulu plus subscribers have the option of watching hulu (and the plus-added content) on devices other than their PC — IPTVs, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, gaming systems, etc. while licensing of shows sometimes procludes certain devices (for instance, you can only see the current season of Psych via your PC’s web browser, whereas the previous four seasons are viewable with other devices), hulu is constantly working with networks and content creators to get content to viewers in as many ways as possible. i easily use hulu plus 6 hours a week on average, and this makes up pretty much all of my television viewing; i do not have a cable or satellite television service at home.
while hulu plus for mobile devices has never been unwatchable and has improved greatly over the course of the preview period, it’s still not without its idiosyncrasies. but customer service is quick to respond to feedback; they even quickly responded to my original blog post about it. and this move to not only lower the price, but to actually CREDIT everyone definitely hits me in my “wow” factor. this is an excellent move by hulu, and hopefully will help them score tons of new users now that they are out of preview status. (hey hulu guys — if you’re scouring the Internet this morning for hulu related blog posts, allow me to say thanks!)
i do fear a bit that the lower price will initially feed into fears by content creators, such as Mark Levitan, producer of Modern Family, who has begged ABC to not have any streaming versions of his program available at all, particularly on hulu. read a relevant article here. my hope (and certainly hulu’s) is that a $7.99 entry point will mean a volume of customers that will push online ad revenue more towards broadcast ad revenue, making online streaming of content a more (if not equally) viable distribution option for broadcast television and cinema.
of course, the biggest costs of the motion picture industry relate to unions and talent payscales that match the living-in-Beverly-Hills lifestyle, and hulu ain’t never gonna fix that.
if you’d like to try hulu plus with an initial free week, please, by all means, use my referral code!
here’s the email current plus subscribers received this morning: