Since the advent of streaming content, networks and studios have been scrambling to measure and monetize online viewership while offering an attractive deal that will keep customers happy and loyal.
Netflix is currently the leader of that market, with its popular (if limited) library of streaming titles and expanding profile of original scripted programming. Amazon is fast approaching with a robust collection of streaming favorites and new, original, shows too, though its decision to bundle free streaming to its Prime service means that users pay much more for the content and features (compared to Netflix).
Hulu preceded these two players in some ways, pioneering the model of posting shows online the day after they air and developing a library of premium content for subscribers. However, every title on Hulu comes with a ballooning number of interstitial ads, tailored to match the viewers’ product interests, but nonetheless distracting from the viewing experience. When Hulu was the only game in town, viewers suffered through the ads, but with many other options now (legal and otherwise), it’s been easier to turn elsewhere.
But according to the Wall Street Journal, Hulu may have come up with a solution to this aspect of its design. Executives at the streaming service are contemplating an ad-free alternative to its current $7.99 per month subscription fee. A subscription to “NOAH” - “No Ads Hulu” - would cost somewhere between an additional $12 to $14 per month for users, and it could be made available on the market as soon as Fall 2015.
This is exciting news for Internet streaming devotees, with the caveat that users will have to pay a fair amount extra to get this special service. It’s unclear if “NOAH” will feature all of the same content as Hulu regular, or perhaps just a fraction of it. There's also been no mention yet of extra features that would entice users intrigued by the no-ads promise, but not necessarily willing to shell out extra money for that option alone. This program is in the planning stages, though, and Hulu could easily tweak the program if the majority of users appear to be dissatisfied with it.
There are few "Internet Problems" more grating than having to wade through two to three minutes of advertising material for a new episode of your favorite show to return. Hulu reliably delivers excellent content, so the question is whether or not users will pay that much more for that content if it comes with a guarantee of no interruptions.
Source: Wall Street Journal