That service would put it right smack in the race with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, as well as the likes of HBO Now.
Hulu had previously offered up a free-to-consumers, advertising-supported version -- Hulu -- as well as a limited advertising version-- Hulu Plus. But some of these earlier efforts must have been a miscalculation.
Why did it take so long for Hulu to do this, giving Netflix a tremendous jump on the business? Look at its owners and that’ll tell you much. Three major media owners of Hulu -- Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Comcast Corp. (a non-voting partner) -- have based much of their traditional TV businesses in large part on advertising.
If these media companies are entrenched in these areas, you can understand why: TV advertising has provided lots of upside to companies for many years. Only now are they coming to realize consumers want lots of options -- including those free of advertising.
All this may seem confusing, but consumers continue to flock to spend $8.99 on Netflix.
Hulu executives may have believed it was different than Netflix -- that it was essentially a single ad-free movie service, more like HBO — and that consumers would act accordingly.
But that’s where the Hulu executives went wrong. Netflix seemingly is everywhere, offering libraries of off-network TV series and theatrically run movies, as well as original TV and movie content.
Hulu’s new effort will be around $12 to $14 a month -- well higher than the $8.99 price point of Netflix.
Does that create confusion -- or clarity?