Hulu said today it’s phased out its free, ad-suported tier as it refocuses efforts on subscription services. According to Variety, free TV episodes will no longer be available on Hulu, but the current $7.99/$11.99 per month paid tiers won’t change. All Hulu content that was available free with ads has moved to Yahoo View, a new service designed for hosting free, ad-supported TV shows from the likes of ABC, NBC, Fox and others.
It’s interesting that Yahoo View offers TV show episodes eight days after they have aired on live TV, unlike the 24-hour window on Hulu. Up to five most recent TV show episodes will be available on the new service, accessible in a web browser at view.yahoo.com.
In addition to Hulu content, Yahoo View also offers miscellaneous videos and previews of upcoming episodes and entire TV show seasons of anime and Korean drama series.
Official Yahoo View mobile apps for iOS and Android are currently in the works. The free Hulu service will be phased out in the next few weeks.
According to a Hulu executive, the move has been years in the making:
For the past couple years, we’ve been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers. As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy.
The news arrives just days following another Variety report saying that Time Warner has agreed to take a ten percent stake in Hulu, joining existing owners Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast’s NBCUniversal.
The move should help bolster Hulu’s programming by adding content from Time Warner’s channels, like Turner networks and CNN, that sources say will be part of a new pay TV service that Hulu intends to launch early next year.