Why Does Hulu Plus Show Commercials?

I used regular Hulu.com off and on for over a year before subscribing to Hulu Plus.  I was used to the commercials and accepted them.  I don’t expect to get anything for free.  However, when I started paying $7.99 a month I assumed the commercials would disappear.  That didn’t happen.  Why?  Here’s what they wrote at the Hulu site:

“We include advertisements in Hulu Plus in order to reduce the monthly subscription price of the service. Premium content — especially from the current TV season — is not only expensive to make and license, but we also want to compensate our content partners fairly for the valuable entertainment they provide.”


I imagined that Hulu Plus would be like a premium cable channel and be commercial free.  That’s turned out to be a false assumption on my part.  But is my assumption that ads are natural for free content, but paid content should be ad free not valid?  I’m watching the same shows, so why am I paying $7.99 a month?  What am I getting that makes the plus in Hulu Plus?

To get the free Hulu I have to watch it through a computer.  Until my HTPC died, I had a computer to watch web content on my big screen TV.  I also used this computer to record shows.  It was like a home built DVR.  Until I replace it, I’ll have to reply on a Roku box to see web content on TV, but the Roku doesn’t offer free Hulu, just Hulu Plus.  So essentially I’m paying $7.99 to stream through the Roku.

I had assumed and hoped when I sprang for Hulu Plus the commercials would go away.  Boy was I wrong.  Now that I’m using Hulu more, the commercials stand out.  They are getting annoying, especially since they seem to show the same ones over and over.

I love streaming Netflix because a hour TV show is only about 42 minutes.  On Hulu Plus they aren’t back to a full hour, but I’m losing sleep because I’m staying up later every night because of the commercials.  Commercials that I hate to watch.

Hulu Plus is a marginal service for me.  I gave up cable years ago.  I love watching TV shows on DVD and Netflix streaming, but if I want to watch anything current I have to watch it live over broadcast TV, pay Amazon $1.99-2.99 an episode, or get it from Hulu Plus.  So my $7.99 pays for a five week window to watch current shows.  If I miss Revolution on Monday nights at 9pm, I can still watch it for five weeks.  I can do it for free on the computer and pay for my supper by watching commercials.

Or I can pay $7.99 a month, AND WATCH COMMERCIALS, if I want to use my Roku box connected to my TV.  I won’t shout that’s unfair, because that’s how Hulu plays the game.  I’ve just got decide if I want to pay twice for the convenience.

It is true Hulu Plus has more shows, and for some shows, complete runs instead of the most most recent five episodes.

I’ve read that Hulu Plus streams at 720p instead of 480p, and that is indeed worth some money.

This still doesn’t answer why Hulu Plus, a premium service, has commercials.  That bugs me.

I’ll use it for a month or two, and see if I get addicted to it, but I tend to think I’m going to cancel my subscription.  I really hate paying for commercials.

Hulu Plus should be free if we have to watch commercials.  It’s only delayed broadcast TV, and unlike DVR TV shows, we can’t skip over the commercials.

JWH – 10/9/12

6 thoughts on “Why Does Hulu Plus Show Commercials?”

  1. This is why I haven’t signed up for their service. Netflix at least got this aspect right…I haven’t seen a commercial on my TV in over a year and I love it! Granted they don’t have the selection that Hulu has but what’s the advantage of signup up for their “Plus” service if not to get rid of the commercials? The idea that they need to show commercials to keep pricing down is pure crap. They were forced into this arrangement in order to secure rights to the shows they stream…plain and simple. Either that, or they’re just trying to eek out more profits. Either way, I don’t see an upside to signing up for their service.

    1. Actually, Netflix has way more content than Hulu. Hulu just has some newer shows that haven’t come to Netflix yet. I’m hooked on Glee. Netflix had seasons 1 and 2 streaming, and I’m getting season 3 on disc, but I’m watching the current season 4 on Hulu.

  2. No reason to pay for Hulu Plus, just use the free Hulu. Commercial breaks are only marginally longer and you still have a wide variety of shows to watch. Hulu-plus is probably the biggest scam on the net right now for viewing content.

    1. Yeah, but I like to get Hulu Plus through my Roku, and it doesn’t do that for the free Hulu. And Hulu Plus has features like the Criterion Films. It offers plenty to make me feel I’m getting my $7.99 world. I just wished since I was paying I didn’t have to see commercials. I hate commercials.

      1. Actually you can watch regular Hulu for free on a Roku if you install the Plex channel. They way Plex works, is you install a Plex server on a regular computer. You then browse for content on the web such as Hulu. You can then send it to your Plex channel and it will play on the Roku. No need to pay for Hulu Plus…

        Essentially what Plex does is that it sends web content to your Roku’s Plex channel. It can be any content from Youtube to Hulu. Just select it on your computer and it will play through your Roku on your TV.

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