Hulu announced yesterday that they’ll soon be releasing “Hulu Plus,” a $10/month service that gives you access to more content than their current ad-supported standard service. Although Plus will still not be ad-free, it will, in addition to widening their selection, extend streaming to televisions and mobile devices (iPad and iPhone, likely only via Wi-Fi).
I currently have a Netflix subscription, but rarely use it for mailed DVD rentals. It’s their Instant Watch that’s made me keep the account; having access to a lot of my favorite shows and the occasional movie on both my computer and television (via XBox) has been a great alternative to cable for the past few years.
So the question is, will Hulu Plus have a large enough selection from the start to tear customers like me away from our beloved Netflix? Assuming, of course, that people (like me) refuse to pay for two services that do basically the same thing. Not only will Hulu have a lot of the same shows available, but it appears that they’ll have episodes available shortly after cable airing (currently Hulu posts them a day after the original air date), whereas Netflix Instant only provides episodes from previous seasons, and their least expensive subscription is only a dollar less. And although Hulu currently offers only the 5 most recent episodes for most shows, Plus will make available “every single episode of the current season.”
Streaming, on-demand television is quickly becoming the new standard. Since Hulu began a big advertising push last year, their popularity has risen significantly. If Hulu manages to make their way from customers’ computers and into their living rooms, they could secure a place for themselves as the go-to entertainment provider, stealing the Netflix customers who came for the DVD’s and stayed for the streaming.
A date for its release has not yet been announced, but you can request a “preview invite” for Hulu Plus .