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Hulu is dropping its free service

Going forward, users will need to pay for streaming TV and movies

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    For the last 10 years, Hulu has streamed thousands of TV shows and movies free of charge. That’ll soon change, however, as the company has announced plans to drop its no-cost, ad-supported service for good, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

    Since its initial launch in 2007, Hulu has slowly deemphasized its free service. Of late, most of Hulu’s free content has been limited to the five most recent episodes of a current TV program — “content that typically becomes available eight days after it airs and is usually also available for free on broadcast networks’ websites,” THR notes.

    Instead, the vast majority of Hulu’s content can be found on its premium ad-free platform, and next year, the company plans to further expand its offerings with the launch of a live TV service.

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    In a statement, Hulu noted that only a small fraction of its 12-million user base still uses the free service. Those users will be offered free trials of its premium service.

    “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,” explained Ben Smith, Hulu’s senior vice president and head of experience. “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.”

    THR adds that Hulu will continue to offer its library of no-cost content to distribution partners, including Comcast and Yahoo.

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