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Introducing Hulu Plus: More wherever. More whenever. Than ever.

June 29th, 2010 by Jason Kilar CEO

Everyone on the Hulu team shares three things in common. I’ll cover two of those immediately. We’ll get to the last one at the end of this post.

First, we are proud to say that we love TV shows. TV shows entertain billions of people across the globe and are among the most durable, high quality forms of storytelling in our society. TV shows play a significant role in billions of people’s daily routines.

Second, we believe that the TV show experience — while already great — has the opportunity to be even better. We have great conviction that consumers should be able to watch the TV shows they’d like to watch, whenever they want to watch them, wherever they want to watch them. The Hulu team has taken that conviction and built a very special service we’re calling Hulu Plus. The Hulu Plus service is our answer to the question of “What if your favorite TV shows loved you back?”

Hulu Plus is not a replacement for Hulu.com. Hulu Plus is a new, revolutionary ad-supported subscription product that is incremental and complementary to the existing Hulu service. For almost all of the current broadcast shows on our service, Hulu Plus offers the full season. Every single episode of the current season will be available, not just a handful of trailing episodes. Now there’s never a bad time to jump in on a hot new show like Modern Family (which I recommend highly). From Family Guy to Glee, from The Office to 30 Rock, from Grey’s Anatomy to Desperate Housewives, from Parks & Recreation to Parenthood, from House to Saturday Night Live, and dozens of other hits, the best time to jump in on any series is any time, and with any episode, that’s right for you.

As a Hulu Plus subscriber, you’ll now also have access to back seasons or full runs of some of TV’s greatest shows. All nine seasons of The X-Files. All three seasons of Arrested Development. Ten seasons of Law and Order: SVU. All five seasons of Ally McBeal. Seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and three seasons of Roswell. Every episode ever of Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives. Classic skits from the first five and most recent five seasons of Saturday Night Live. The list goes on. This is all on top of hundreds of shows already on Hulu.com today. It’s a treasure chest in the cloud for TV lovers.

How can someone watch all these TV shows? The only possible way is if someone could pull up these shows wherever they were, on whatever device they happened to have available. That’s why we’re excited to announce that Hulu Plus subscribers can now watch their favorites through more than just the browser on their Mac or PC.

Let’s start in your living room. You’re sitting down for dinner, and you’d like to pull Hulu up on your TV. Today you’d have to plug a computer into the TV and try to connect the audio from your computer to your sound system. It’s certainly doable, but it’s not as easy as it could be. Starting today, Hulu Plus subscribers who own select Samsung Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players can download a Hulu Plus application from the Samsung app store and start streaming Hulu Plus directly.

Now let’s say you migrate from the living room to your den or bedroom or patio where you don’t have a TV. You can always pull up Hulu Plus on your laptop, but starting today you can access Hulu content via Wi-Fi or 3G on another device: the Apple iPad. I’ve been watching Hulu on my iPad for several weeks now, and I’ve watched more TV through the iPad than any other device.

Now let’s head out of the house and onto the road. Wouldn’t it be nice if, while you were waiting for your coffee order at the local cafe, you could finish watching that episode you started watching that morning on your iPad? Starting today, if you’re a Hulu Plus subscriber and you own an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 or third-generation iPod Touch, you can.

The Hulu Plus app on the iPhone streams over 3G and Wi-Fi. It’s TV shows in the palm of your hand. A spare five minutes will never be as boring again. You can start watching a show on your HDTV one night, pick up where you left off on your laptop at lunch, watch another chunk on the bus ride home on your iPhone, and finish watching in bed on your iPad. The time to watch your favorite shows is any time you want.

These are the devices shipping with Hulu Plus today. But this is just the first step in our mission to bring you TV wherever you are. We are already hard at work on porting Hulu Plus to other devices and platforms, with PlayStation 3 coming soon. But that’s a story for another day.

More content. More devices. But that’s not all. We want to take full advantage of beautiful display devices like your HDTV connected to your Samsung Blu-ray player, or your iPad. So for all Hulu Plus subscribers, we’ll now stream all native HD content in 720p high definition.

The last question, and an obvious one, is how much this costs. We wanted Hulu Plus to be priced for as many people as possible. We’re thrilled to be able to bring all of this to you for the price of just $9.99 a month.

How do you sign up for Hulu Plus? Starting today, we’re issuing invitations to become a Hulu Plus subscriber. If you’re interested, you can request an invitation here. To ensure we’re offering the best experience for all our Hulu Plus customers, we’ll be sending out invitations in waves [hint: if you follow Hulu on Twitter ( www.twitter.com/hulu) or “Like” Hulu on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/hulu), we’ll be handing out invites to a random set from each of those groups from time to time over the coming months]. We’ll be sending out as many invitations as we can each week, and as soon as we’re ready, we’ll remove the need for an invitation and start bringing in new subscribers without delay.

At the start, I mentioned I’d come back to the third thing that all of us at Hulu have in common. That third thing is this: we believe that any lasting solution to the challenge of making TV show discovery and viewing dramatically easier has to work for all three of our customers, and those are our end users, our advertisers, and our content suppliers.

With Hulu Plus, we believe we’ve met that goal. For our end users, we’re offering them the most convenient way to access their favorite shows, on devices they love, in high definition, at a fair price. For our advertisers, who allow us to keep our Hulu Plus price low with the support of ad revenue, we offer one of the world’s most effective advertising platforms, with the ability to speak effectively to users across a variety of devices, anywhere they happen to be. And finally, for our content partners, we offer revenues that compensate them fairly for bearing the cost of producing the shows we love.

Is our work done? Not even close. There are more shows to license, more countries to expand into, and more product features to build. And we will.

But for today, we just want to share our latest project with you. We think it’s pretty great. We hope you do, too.

Jason Kilar

CEO, Hulu

Last comment: about 8 hours ago 395 Comments
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    I have been a subscriber to NetFlix for years. I like that I can watch all the shows I want for $7.99/m with no commercials. I signed up for Hulu Plus, and found the commercials are still there, no way am I going to to pay for a service and be forced to watch commercials. You have lost this customer Hulu.

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  • Paul Middleton says:

    HULU. pls pls pls pls pls,,bring hulu’s services to the uk as fast as you can. the only reason talks broke down with the bbc and itv and any other crappy tv services that are provided in the uk is because there scared to death that once hulu comes to uk nobody is going to care about there horrendous services. they have hounded us for years making us pay for a tv licence but yet never improve any of our channels. or give us anything worth watching. uk tv is abysmal there all old guys, grey haired and no sense of what should be on a tv screen in our modern age. they are leaches sucking money out of the uk’s community for the worst content imaginable. there slimey greesy toilet watse formenting brown excuse for daily television has really got to go. they only care about money and not about what is actually put on the tv screens. how can they expect you to pay for such garbage, they expect every single home owner in the united kingdom to buy a tv licence. now with the age of the internet. it is a old and outdated excuse to rob the public of money. and lets face it. its really not worth paying for anyway. pls hurry. we want it. we want hulu we want hulu. we want hulu. there scared. and they should be. they should be ashamed of themselves for what they call daytime television. and no am not saying night-time television is any better cause it isnt. i have no interest in watching tv anymore. its rubbish. pls why do you have to listen to the bbc anyway. just give us the service please. even if its only on ps3. they cant do anything about that am sure. please hulu. ive been waiting forever for hulu to come to uk. its getting hard to watch with an annonymous ip too :)

  • Mike says:

    No Logitech Revue support… Deal breaker for me. When the Revue is supported, I will subscribe to Hulu Plus.

  • Hi,

    Thanks for taking the time to give us your feedback! There are several ways to stream Hulu Plus to your TV—take a look at our supported devices page!

    http://www.hulu.com/plus/devices

    Our content team is always hard at work to get the streaming rights for the shows you want to watch. Also, we realize that it’s frustrating when some of our content isn’t available for Hulu Plus. It is our goal to make all of our content available for TV and mobile devices. These negotiations take time, and we appreciate your patience as we continue to build our library and improve the service.

    I hope this speaks to your concerns, and we appreciate your feedback. Stay tuned!

    Thanks,
    Daniel
    Hulu Support

  • vm says:

    Following are my complaints about the service ( as hulu plus subscriber)-

    Need to watch shows on TV, not cell phones or computers ( I really hate watching shows on a computer – it is the LAST thing I want to do). This is mainly to replace cable TV.

    I do not mind ads or even subscription rates ( as long as they do not reach cable rates). However, IMO, the best network prime time shows are on CBS and CBS is not even among the networks supported !

    Many cable shows ( for e.g. white collar on USA or closer on TNT) run circles around anything NBC/ABC has to offer – they seem to hire better writers and producers whereas networks seem to focus on paying huge amounts of money to c-grade actors like charlie sheen ( obviously because they know people in hollywood – NOT a meritocracy). When TF are we going to see good cable shows ?

    Hulu plus actually has LESS content than hulu.com and that is after paying subscription fees ! Not a good thing !

  • Brian says:

    I have an LG model 32LG10 LCD TV. Will hulu work on it if I try to set up a connection it has a RGB IN inputs in the back?

  • tv on web says:

    This surly does look like an interesting new feature, I wonder how popular will it be … still props for setting it up!

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  • Hi Beth,

    Thanks for writing in with your interest in using Hulu Plus on the Wii. We get a lot of requests for it, so it’s definitely on our radar. Though we can’t support it right now, we are continually evaluating new technologies, and will be adding more devices based on user demand. Stay tuned!

    We have plans to bring Hulu Plus to as many devices as possible. For up to date info on which devices are currently supported or have been announced, you can go to ( http://www.hulu.com/plus/devices ). On this page, you can even sign up to be notified of availability on upcoming devices.

    If there’s anything else I can address for you, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Thanks,
    Udaya
    Hulu Support

  • BethM says:

    Please make it work on the Wii. If it did, I’d drop Netflix in a flash!

  • Morgan says:

    I am also very disappointed that my Google TV and Hulu have not come to an agreement…i have a MacBook so it’s not really easy for me to connect my computer to my tv. I only bought this Sony Google TV because i thought I would be able to stream Hulu like I do Netflix. Netflix, kudos to you for making my life easier…Hulu, you could learn a lesson or two…I was set to buy Hulu+ until I found out you are never going to offer this service for Google TV users.

  • Susana Price says:

    Does Hulu Plus plan to have up-to-date TNT and USA Networks TV episodes streamed through Roku devices in the near future? At this time, I am going directly to the networks on line and connect the streaming to my HD TV. It’s a bit chopping, but the sound is great.

    The Roku streams so much better, but I found out last night that TNT and USA are only available through the PC via Hulu Plus, so I canceled my Hulu Plus free trail within one hour.

    Any ideas or advice.

    Thank you!

  • gregory prall says:

    What a pain this site/service is. I just bought a Vizio internet enabled tv, wireless, 42″ to watch hulu plus on, and am lucky??? to be able to watch a show 50% or less. It does the “loading” thing after at first starting, plays the opening commercial, then nothing. My computers, (one a Macbook pro, one a Toshiba w/windows xp), never have problems, even when 8′ farther away than the tv. Netflix, Pandora radio, Amazon, etc. all work perfect with no issues at all! What gives???

  • Jesse Douglas says:

    as a recent subscriber to Hulu Plus, I can say for a fact its a waste of money.

    Hulu was an innovation when it first came out but unfortunately it has become such a joke I don’t understand why it still exists.

    I’m willing to pay for what I watch, I have no problem with that,but if your going to charge me for it then what I want to watch better be available and it better be available within 4 hours of broadcast (even though there’s no reason what so ever that it couldn’t be available at the exact same time).

    Commercials, If I have to pay to watch and still get commercials then what would stop me from just paying for cable or a dish? (yes I know that is why they’re doing this crap in the first place, I was being sarcastic).

    Bottom line, it might cost more for cable but in a point by point comparison with Hulu and Hulu Plus, Cable and dish wins in all areas except for cost. As they say “You get what you pay for”

  • Jim says:

    I don’t understand why I would PAY for something with Ads? Netflix isn’t spamming me with ads ..

  • Cassidy says:

    i’m more concerned about the disappearance of shows…? i enjoy watching Tosh.0 which i was doing for a few days, and then it simply ceased to exist from the hulu plus lineup. although oddly enough on the flip side my girlfriend likes to watch make it or break it, which was previously unavailable but it’s now available… i feel like shows shouldn’t just be ‘dropped’ from the lineup, although the access is still considerably better and far less costly than cable i’ll stick with netflix until the bugs are worked out…

  • nathan says:

    email with hulu phone number pls

  • Billy says:

    What about cable programing, like”:Mad Men”

  • Brian says:

    I’ve got Hulu+ and am a bit disappointed that the majority of current season shows I’m interested in are not offered! Interestingly enough, those shows are included in the free Hulu service but I can’t get that on my Roku.

    When do you intend on expanding your library? I may end up canceling soon and resorting to watching on free Hulu on my PC.

  • GEORGE MAURER says:

    I use HULU-PLUS on my ROKU player and love it! When is CBS content comming to HULU-PLUS? I herd it is comming to netflix and Hulu-Plus is that right?

  • John says:

    @T. McNutt — This is the original blog post back in June 2010. Since they they actually REDUCED the price from $9.99 to $7.99 per month!

  • Rodd says:

    So far, I like it. I just ditched cable TV for a Roku box that streams NetFlix and Hulu Plus, and combined it’s less that $20 a month, so I can’t complain considering how much I was paying for cable and the selection of shows. I only wish I could watch live College/Pro football/basketball on it. The ads are usually pretty short and less frequent than what I was used to seeing on cable, so they don’t bother me as much.

  • Melissa Diaz says:

    OK, so far I’m actually loving Hulu+. We have a Blu Ray Player and I have an iPhone so it’s incredibly convenient for the shows it has available, especially with the extended expiration dates. I may wish for more of my shows to be available, but I understand how prolonged the negotiating process can be. My one major complaint: In my bedroom I have a system that connects my iPhone to my TV–which works great with Netflix…but Hulu+ doesn’t support AV Output :(

  • Jonathan says:

    I bought Google TV because I thought Hulu + would be available someday, but I think that someday might be never.

  • BraddahZ says:

    On day three of my hulu+ trial. I put Netflix on hold for a week after watching it nonstop for a couple of months. So far, I think Netflix blows hulu out of the water. I am using my ps3 to stream and hulu+ has frozen up at least 10 times. The sound isn’t as good. The ads are terrible too. I won’t pay for hulu+ until they make some major improvements.

  • Jeff says:

    So disappointed! Upgraded my phone hoping to stream Hulu + from my phone to my TV. But unlike Netflix the Hulu app doesn’t allow ‘video out’. And can you call Hulu support? No! Also unlike Netflix they don’t take calls!
    Crap product, crap service!

  • Jack says:

    When would hulu plus get paypal support i am itching to subscribe but cant do so without paypal.

  • cindy lukens says:

    what happened to my service?

  • Bethany says:

    so im watching hulu and i see the free trial pop up.. so i try to get said free trial and cant get it. whats up with that, if you are trying to get a perspective custamer you probablly just lost me and my money. dont offer something you cant give, and dont say contact the help center when there is noone to call. I WANT MY FREE TRIAL……………no trial no purchase

  • Nickie says:

    I’m not gonna lie i have Netflix and i’d like you try out Hulu plus but what ya know you STILL DON’T HAVE IT AVAILABLE FOR my XBOX360 I’m bored of waiting and would like to know when it’s coming??? CAN YOU TELL US THAT… beside commercials i dunno if ill like that but i’m willing to give it a shot!

  • Fal says:

    VERY limited selection. All the series that I want to see that Hulu Plus actually has, I can watch ad free on netflix streaming. I wouldn’t even be able to watch my favorite USA Network shows on Hulu Plus. This was poorly thought out for a pay service. I wouldn’t even pay $1 for it with the ads and present selection.

  • Matt says:

    Wake me when they have an add free version. I am running netflix on my xbox and can do “most” of what they are offering. Granted, I am spending more to get DVDs and I would spend more for Hulu if it was add free. This is the reason I told my cable company to take a hike. I am not going to pay to see someone’s adds.

  • Deborah says:

    I bought a Samsung BD-C6500 as it was the best available and I cannot access Hulu plus on it. When are you going to expand to cover this bluray?

  • Mia Rivera says:

    I subscribe to Hulu Plus, but still can’t get it…I want it for my laptop…I hope ur not charging me for the service ur not giving me!!!

  • Slyvia says:

    Boo :( Not a fan of hulu plus.
    dislike.

  • Slyvia says:

    :( Boo not a fan of hulu plus.
    dislike.

  • Kevin says:

    I bought 2 xbox 360’s and 2 TV’s(1 of each for home and for my business) in anticipation of being able to stream Hulu plus on both of them in lieu of actual TV service. Is there any sort of ETA on this. Im tired of having 2 brand new 47″ HDTV’s sitting around with nothing to watch lol. If I sign up for TV service there would be no reason for me to get Hulu and I would probably take 1 xbox back as well. PLEASE any ETA will do. 1 week, 1 month, 1 year something.

  • kako says:

    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong but I can’t seem to watch any T.V or movies without numerous freezing of the screen during the playing of what I am watching. It is getting so annoying that I think that I am going to stop my subscription. It was good in the beginning but it is getting worse everyday.

  • todd wisner says:

    nice way to test market demand guys……that way you can set the price like the market dictates….demand. low demand, high price, high demand a little better price.I cant believe the dummies that bought into this purchasing new tv sets. sheesh man….baa,baa,black sheep have you any wool, no sir no sir we were fleeced like fools!

  • Matt says:

    I like the idea of Hulu plus, but I can’t use it everywhere and thought it would be cool if it could come out on the PSP system then I would definitely subscribe. You would also gain alot of customers if you did this. Let me know if it comes out.
    thanks,
    Matt

  • Jeff says:

    Why is some content available on hulu through my computer, but not available on hulu plus on my samsung app on the tv?

  • suzanne sweek says:

    just purchased and set up a Roku unit and are trying to activate Hulu Plus. Where/how do we inter Roku device activation code….online by computer? by remote? Thank you.

  • Marc says:

    Paying $8 a month for HuluPlus would be great, but only if you would significantly bolster your lineup. For me, personally, I would want to see the following added before I plop down $8 a month:
    CBS series (e.g. The Good Wife)
    AMC series (e.g. Breaking Bad and Mad Men)

  • Bcpski says:

    Im considering cancelling cable for hulu. My main question is, can you watch 2-3 different shows simultaneously on different devices (PS3, macbook, netbook for example) on the same hulu account?

  • Bryan says:

    What? You want us to pay a subscription fe for a COMMERCIAL supported enterprise? Haven’t you figured out that this is one of the biggest reasons cable is now floundering? The initial promises of commercial free entertainment slowly engulfed by greed leading to not better programming (quite the contrary!) but increasing fees to subscribers AS WELL AS substantially more advertisement? Think we will stick with the completely commercial free netflix with THOUSANDS of movies, numerous series (retro and new) as well as COMMERCIAL FREE!

  • Eden says:

    How exactly is this subscription product incremental and complementary to your existing service? I can no longer watch full episodes of The Office on Hulu, only 90 second previews of the current season. I can’t see how Hulu Plus supplements a product that is no longer available to me. And ad supported? How is that new and revolutionary? Bottom line, you want to offer a lot of content through a variety of platforms, and now folks need to pay for it. While I can appreciate the economics of your business model, I hate the spin. Please, just be honest.

  • Mike says:

    A fee and commercials? How is this fair. The content owners made their money from advertisers when the shows were originally aired on TV. Don’t forget at the most basic level you are selling re-runs. If I am paying a subscription fee, I don’t want commercials.

    Mike

  • Lynda Vaughan says:

    Just signed up for 3G-4G and trying to decide if I want Hulu Plus but since I’m so new at this would like to get info on just exactly what and how much “subscriptions” to a series is? How much for a movie? Confusing? I have a trial of Netflix but haven’t used it yet. Would love to have some iinput. Thank you!

  • John says:

    hulu plus is extremely disappointing, there are so many ads it’s borders on ridiculous, and I had to pay for this?

  • Tammy says:

    Playing thru the Sony blueray provides extremely poor viewing. Although the HD is really cool, it CONSTANTLY buffers making it frustrating spending an hour and a half or more to watch a 1 hour show. Extremely dissatisfied.

  • Katie says:

    I think it’s great that Hulu is taking this step to make TV more available, however, at $8 a month with minimal content and limited device compatibility, it’s just not worth it.
    I pay $9 a month for Netflix and I get unlimited instant streaming and 1 DVD at a time. Why would a potential consumer like myself ever pay almost the same price for so much less content (which even often overlaps with Netflix)?
    Hulu needs to start at a more reasonable price to gain a loyal customer base. Then when the service is more developed and more popular, Hulu can increase the price back to $8/month. (Just like Netflix is doing next January–it will now be $10 a month but they sure won’t be losing any of their hooked customers.)

  • Greg Fischer says:

    All I want to know is if your Plus service is available, how much it costs and how to connect it to my TV. Why then Jason Kilar do I have to read War and Peace (your version at your Plus introduction site). Are you guys just full of your selves or don’t you know sales is an art of a few precisely chosen words to convey your message, not a book!

    I’ll be leaving now… not to return.

  • Pay For Nothing? says:

    This Hulu Plus is a joke. Pay to watch incessant advertising? I don’t think so. None of the shows I want to watch are available for the TV, so I have to watch from my computer, which I can already do for FREE. Not only will I not pay for Hulu Plus, they couldn’t give it to me as a free service to use through my television. Sucks is an understatement. Netflix is far superior, no advertising, and much more is available to watch instantly.

  • mj says:

    I thought it sounded great to be able to use my phone. then I was very bummed to find out that my HTC/Sprint phone wasn’t one of the listed devices. I won’t switch to ATT because they always quote me a much more expensive plan to match the plan I have with Sprint, and most importantly… ATT does not have 3G coverage where I live! I can only imagine how great this service would be on my HTC EVO with 4G. Too bad Hulu can’t deliver to more phones/devices.

  • where says:

    Where is a list of all Hulu devices?

  • WhiteGlossy says:

    YES!!!! So much great stuff from Hulu today… excited to finally be on board! See – http://wp.me/p106i6-1tJ

  • AStanding says:

    “We have great conviction that consumers should be able to watch the TV shows they’d like to watch, whenever they want to watch them, wherever they want to watch them.”

    You mean we can watch them wherever we want but not on Google TV? Hulu sucks.

  • Carlotta says:

    I’m so excited about this. But, you don’t need a special TV to watch it in your living room. I have a Roku box where I will not only be able to get Hulu Plus for my TV, but I get Netflix, Pandora and a bunch of other channels with more to come. The sky’s the limit guys!

  • chris day says:

    ridiculous hulu. you should be ashamed!

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