Hulu is reducing the monthly price of its ad-supported on-demand video service by $2 to $5.99, amidst growing competition from free services in this space. Amazon just launched its own ad-supported channel, while NBCUniversal is planning an ad-supported streaming offering in 2020 that would be free for pay TV subscribers. Meanwhile, Viacom is buying ad-supported video provider Pluto TV as it also seeks to get into the space.
Despite increasing competition, advertisers told The Information that Hulu stands out because it offers premium content, which many ad-supported services do not. Hulu’s price cut follows Netflix’s decision to raise prices for its popular offering.
Hulu, meanwhile, is raising the price of its cable-like TV offering, which includes over 60 channels as well as on-demand shows, by $5 to $44.99 a month. Hulu’s CEO Randy Freer said last year that he wants to drop some of the channels in the offering so he can create smaller bundles of live sports, news and on-demand entertainment that might appeal more to viewers and reduce costs for Hulu. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Hulu and others in the streaming cable market winnow their packages substantially to improve margins.