Hulu currently offers free access via web browser and an $8 monthly subscription that expands access to mobile and television devices. But both levels are saddled with commercial interruption. As a subscriber, I’ve found the advertising to be a non-issue. Yet there appears significant pushback from what are perhaps prospective customers. The common argument seems to be folks shouldn’t have to both pay and be subjected to commercials. Yet, most of us are subjected to similar on a regular basis with relatively little complaint… as most pay cable and satellite television channels and programming are similarly presented. Unfortunately for Hulu, this counter argument was easier to make before Netflix unveiled their (commercial free) streaming-only package at the same price point as Hulu. And I doubt the majority of those making noise are likely to pony up at the proposed “higher price.”
At the end of the day, again as a subscriber, I’d say Hulu’s biggest problem is content chaos – different shows are selectively available on different platforms coupled with limited programming predictability. You’d think the descendent of the studio system could have done a more masterful job navigating these licensing waters.