Hulu Plus Commercials: How much is too much?

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Hulu Plus is one of the major competitors when it comes to streaming content. Netflix is the powerhouse that stands atop the rest, but Hulu is always a worthy competitor. There is only one thing that stops many people from paying the $7.99 a month for a Hulu Plus subscription: Commercials. The commercials that break up television shows on Hulu Plus are an annoyance to some people, a necessary evil for some, and a cause for complete avoidance among a select few. Why do they have ads in the first place, though? Why not get rid of them? Will people finally have enough?

Why The Commercials?

Hulu Plus is an expensive service to run. It is owned by some of the major players in the media world, but it still costs a massive amount of money to run the servers and acquire new shows and movies that aren’t under the label of the owners. In order to make up for that difference, Hulu runs ads even when you pay for a Plus subscription.

The question was recently asked of Hulu in a thread on their discussion forum and the official word came back as this: Even though there are ads on Hulu Plus, much like regular television, the ad breaks are equal in number, but Hulu Plus ads are shorter overall, meaning you will end up saving time regardless.

How Much Is Too Much?

For some people, any ads are too much. That is why they made the switch to streaming content rather than watching broadcast television. Judging from the looks of those on the forum here, this is a common viewpoint. There are those who defend the decision due to the new content that doesn’t come cheap, but many disagree.

The general consensus in multiple threads is simple. The first answer whenever someone asks if it is worth it is “NO.” The reason? The ads. For people who also have a subscription to cable, there is no reason to have to sit through ads.

At a certain point, it might begin to be too much. The length of the ads has increased over time and if it doesn’t stop this growth it might be enough to make people cancel subscriptions, hurting the company since they have a hard enough time finding new subscribers.

Will It Change?

There is a chance that this might change. Many people have threatened to leave, or never give it a chance, if the ads don’t change. With the ability to watch shows the day after they air on broadcast television, surely paying a little more for commercial free content wouldn’t be a problem?

An answer might have come from CEO Andy Forssell at a New York conference. Forssell says that they are debating the advantages of imitating the practices of companies like Netflix and providing content without advertisements. He is aware that the number of overall ads that are seen by viewers has been going up in the past year, and boasts of the $700 million in revenue that they earned as a result. He still believes that ads are the way to go, but he hasn’t ruled it out as a future option if they can build the kind of following that allows them to do so.

In the meantime, Hulu Plus remains a great service. For people who don’t have cable it can be an indispensable service that allows them to stay up to date on television shows without having to download them illegally. Whether or not they will be able to grow to their full potential while serving ads on their content remains to be seen, however.
 

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