It isn’t the $5 some thought, but Hulu is lowering its prices. The streaming company is taking Hulu Plus out of beta and lowering its price from $10 to $8 per month, CEO Jason Kilar said in a blog post. No official reason for the price drop was given, but speculation points to low demand at the $10 price and a lack of compelling differentiation between standard, free Hulu and the premium Plus. Current subscribers will get a $2 credit for the month and updates to the PS3, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Samsung Hulu Plus apps will be available this weekend.
“Hulu Plus is now available on devices that have an installed base of over 50 million,” said Kilar. “Today, Hulu Plus launches on Roku. All PlayStation 3 owners with a PlayStation Network account, which is free, can download the Hulu Plus application. In the months to come, Hulu Plus will be coming to Internet-connected Vizio, LG Electronics, and Panasonic Blu-ray players and HDTVs; TiVo Premiere DVRs; the Xbox 360; and Western Digital’s WD TV Live Hub Media Center and WD TV Live Plus Network Media Player, with many more mobile phones, tablets, set-top boxes, and Internet-connected devices to be announced.”
Touting the official launch of Plus, Kilar also announced several promotions. All new subscribers will get a week free, including those who joined during the beta phase, who will receive a credit for one week on their next bill. Subscribers who refer a friend to the TV service will get two weeks free, as will the friend. Finally, those who purchase a Sony Bravia TV or Blu-ray player will get 11 weeks free, and those who buy a Roku box will get one month of free service.
Hulu is a joint venture between ABC, NBC, and Fox. The site hosts new episodes of current shows on network and cable television. It’s biggest rival is Netflix, which is a movie and TV streaming site, but only gets TV shows after they’ve been released on DVD.
Hopefully the updates will fix glaring inconsistencies between standard Hulu.com and the Plus service. Several shows and films are available for free, but not on Plus. NBC’s Community is one example. The service has also seen posting delays from major shows last week. Though new episodes are supposed to stream the day after broadcast, several series, including Modern Family, have delayed episode postings. If Hulu is to offer a competitive paid service, it needs to ensure its content providers are consistent providers, one way or another.
Does the $2 discount make Hulu Plus more appealing to you?