Just as rumored, Hulu has finally decided to offer a version of its subscription without the ad breaks. Ad-free Hulu will cost $12 per month, as opposed to the regular $8 subscription (or the shows it offers for free), and of course it will soon include more movies (that Netflix doesn't have) thanks to the company's deal with Epix. One small catch is revealed by the FAQ, which indicates that due to licensing, a few shows will still have ads before and after (but not during) episodes -- all seven are listed after the break.
Hulu's ads have always separated it from online streaming competition like Amazon and Netflix. A new subscription to Netflix can range from $8 to $12 per month, but all come without ads, and include benefits like Ultra HD and surround sound -- which Hulu still doesn't have. At last check, Hulu had over 9 million subscribers, while Netflix is up to 42 million in the US. Even though ads are a way of life on cable and broadcast television, Hulu's annoying tendency to repeat the same few selections during a single show always drove me crazy. This change, and a slew of exclusive/original content (Seinfeld, The Mindy Project, the just-renewed Difficult People and others) means it's finally a serious competitor for our attention -- we'll see if those subscription numbers reflect that in a few months.
Will all shows and movies be commercial free?
In response to feedback from our viewers, we started offering a commercial-free experience on Hulu. For a small number of shows, however, we have not obtained the rights to stream commercial free and they are not included in our No Commercials plan. You can still easily access these shows with a short commercial before and after each episode with no interruptions during the episode. Specific shows that still have commercials accessible through the No Commercials plan will be noted throughout the signup, switching, and playback experience. While the list of shows may change, these shows are currently: Grey's Anatomy, Once Upon A Time, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Scandal, Grimm, New Girl, and How To Get Away With Murder.