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Hulu Plus, which earlier this month exited private beta, is now officially out of its preview stage. At the same time, the site announced it was dropping the subscription price from $9.99 to $7.99 monthly.
Additionally, Hulu said that any current subscribers who joined during the preview period, and thus paid $9.99, will receive a credit for the difference applied to their next billing cycle. Although no reason for the price drop was given in Hulu’s blog post announcement, it probably has a lot to do with the testing that Netflix is doing with a $7.99 streaming only plan.
Hulu Plus offers customers access to a larger media catalog than Hulu’s free service. Other announcements include Hulu Plus on Roku. Additionally, Hulu said:
Hulu Plus is now available on devices that have an installed base of over 50 million. Today, Hulu Plus launches on Roku. All PlayStation 3 owners with a PlayStation Network account, which is free, can download the Hulu Plus application. In the months to come, Hulu Plus will be coming to Internet-connected Vizio, LG Electronics, and Panasonic Blu-ray players and HDTVs; TiVo Premiere DVRs; the Xbox 360; and Western Digital’s WD TV Live Hub Media Center and WD TV Live Plus Network Media Player, with many more mobile phones, tablets, set-top boxes, and Internet-connected devices to be announced.
We haven’t forgotten about our existing device lineup and applications, either. Over the next week, updates to the Samsung, PlayStation 3, and Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch Hulu Plus apps will be available, bringing a variety of bug fixes and feature and performance enhancements.
A few promos that Hulu announced were:
- One week free trials for all new subscribers. In addition, current subscribers who joined during the preview period will receive a credit for one week of Hulu Plus toward their next month’s subscription. This is in addition to the credit mentioned above.
- Two free weeks of Hulu Plus for both current subscribers and friends they invite through our referral program. Subscribers can learn more by clicking on the “Referrals” tab on their Hulu profile page.
- 11 weeks ($20 worth) of free Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Sony BRAVIA connected TV or Blu-ray player through January 31, 2011. (See sony.com/huluplus.)
- One free month of Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Roku device through December 15, 2010. (See roku.com/hulu.)
The price drop had earlier been rumored to be as low as $4.99. Although Hulu didn’t slash prices that much, the new price will make them more competitive with Netflix.
Of course, all these streaming services keep pushing us toward more broadband use. Meanwhile, it is pretty clear that eventually ISPs will cap customer data usage. It’s already happened for some, and it will undoubtedly spread to more. Unfortunately, they can’t have it both ways, and something will have to give eventually.