Hulu is offering a new, premium service. Until recently, their programming included commercials. Now, for an increase in the monthly service fee, a person can choose to watch programming without commercials. Netflix and Amazon’s streaming services are commercial-free. Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon are competitors and as a result of customer requests, Hulu is now offering a new more desirable service.
Hulu’s Price Points Vary Depending on Service:
- Standard service is $7.99 per month with commercials.
- Hulu Premium is $11.99 per month without commercials.
- Hulu continues to offer a free service as well.
There are many differences between the standard and free services. With the standard service, the viewer has options which include putting a video into “Queue” for future viewing, and automatic closed captioning when available. There is also the ability to begin watching on one screen and picking up the program again on a different device without having to fast-forward to the last scene watched. Additionally, a Hulu account is required for access to television for mature audiences (TV-MA) or restricted rated (R) movies.
Amazon Offers a Prime Membership Which Provides:
- The cost is $99.00 per year ($8.25 month);
- Unlimited streaming of videos and television programs;
- Free Kindle book lending service (for Kindle owners);
- Mp3 music streaming; some music is free and others are reasonably priced;
- Free photo storage service;
- Free two-day shipping for purchases of any items available through Amazon.
Netflix Price Points Offer Viewers:
- New customers get one-month free viewing.
- The basic service is $7.99 per month and includes high-definition (HD). However, there is a limit of viewing on one device at a time.
- Standard service is $8.99 per month; two different devices can be watched at the same time.
- Premium service adds Ultra HD (when available) and increases usage to four different devices at a time.
- Upon choosing to sign up for the free month, Netflix offers unlimited DVD rentals for an additional $7.99 per month. If a person wants Blu-ray discs, they must add another $2.00 per month to the bill.
The competition between the three media streaming companies, Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix has prompted Hulu to offer a new premium service. The primary competition, however, is the programming each has to offer and the consumers’ preferences.
Different Options Are Available:
Showtime offers their original programming as will as live viewing from their “East and West Coast feeds.” The network can be viewed through Hulu and Sony’s PlayStation Vue. Additionally, it can be seen on Apple and Roku devices. The fees are:
- On Apple and Roku devices, the cost is $10.99 per month after a free 30-day trial.
- As an add-on with Hulu, the fee is $8.99 per month in addition to the Hulu’s costs. There is a free trial of seven days.
- There are two price points for Showtime on PlayStation Vue. After 30 days free, the cost is $10.99 per month in additional to the PlayStation rates. For PlayStation Plus members, Showtime is only $8.99 month.
According to The New York Times, PlayStation Vue rates begin at $50.00 per month. CBS All Access and Nickelodeon Noggin each cost $6.00 monthly. There are two different Home Box Office (HBO) options. Both offer all of HBO’s programming and streaming on unlimited viewing devices at a time; also included are the “big premieres as they air on TV.” The differences are HBOGO is part of a viewer’s cable subscription, whereas, HBONOW is not tied to a cable subscription. HBONOW costs $14.00 a month and must be purchased through a participating provider.
On HBO’s website, there is a chart listing all of the devices a person can use to watch HBONOW. Devices include Amazon Kindle Fire and their Fire TV & Fire TV Stick. Consumers can watch the programs on the Android platform, on Windows and Apple TV.
There are free television options; program selections are limited, and they can easily be found through any search engine. With all the companies branching out and offering internet users multiple choices, each company must appeal to the consumer’s desires. With most of the monthly fees being inexpensive, viewers can choose more than one. Hulu is competing with Amazon and Netflix by offering a new, premium service without commercials. The Showtime and Hulu combination is another premium choice for subscribers.
By Cathy Milne
Edited By Leigh Haugh
The New York Times: Suddenly, Plenty of Options for Cord Cutters
The New York Times: Hulu Starts a Commercial Free Option to Rival Netflix and Amazon
HBO Website: HBOGO and HBONOW, Know The Differences
Showtime Website: Showtime Monthly
Netflix Website: Plans and Services
Featured Photo Courtesy of Garret Heath’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Photo Courtesy of MoneyBlogNewz’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License