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This article was published on July 17, 2015

    Hulu considers offering ad-free service, but is there really a demand?

    Hulu considers offering ad-free service, but is there really a demand?
    Amanda Connolly
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    Amanda Connolly

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    Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and ed Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and editorial at the Web Summit. She’s interested in all things tech, with a particular fondness for lifestyle and creative tech and the spaces where these intersect. Twitter

    Netflix revealed on Thursday that it was considering a price increase and now it looks like its rival, Hulu, wants to do the same.

    According to The WSJ, the streaming service has codenamed its project NOAH (No Ads on Hulu) and it would see it offer an additional ad-free tier for $12 – $14 per month. At the moment, Hulu customers pay $7.99 per month and still have to endure ad breaks.

    It’s not a done deal yet and I struggle to see its appeal for current Hulu customers. For the company, it shows that it’s taking itself seriously among its competitors like Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Instant Video; but as much as people complain about ads, I’m not convinced there’s a huge demand for the new price tier, especially when the proposed price is relatively expensive in comparison to competitors.

    If customers were really unhappy with paying $7.99 for Hulu’s current offering which includes ads, they would surely have already switched to the multiple ad-free services available.

    Unless Hulu has noticed a move away from its current package and is fighting to gain a lucrative alternative, I can’t see this being much of a hit.

    On the other hand, a higher price tier could mean that Hulu will offer more premium options on top of no ads, such as 4K streaming. That could sweeten the deal for both current and new customers, but with Netflix already rolling out 4K for some of its original content, it will still be a tough battle.

    What do you think? Would you pay extra for an ad-free Hulu?