Hulu has come a long way since it emerged from its Beta status back in 2008. That was just six years ago, but the company’s services have taken off since then. The company closed 2013 with over 5 million Hulu Plus subscribers, despite its free Hulu viewing experience.
Today, Hulu celebrated the rise of its subscriber base from 5 million to now over 6 million viewers (a gain of nearly 1 million viewers in a span of 4-5 months’ time). In honor of this impressive feat, the company decided to send a little more generosity to its Hulu (not Hulu Plus) subscribers. Hulu viewers that have opted not to subscribe to the Hulu Plus $7.99 monthly plan can now view “a selection of ad-supported full TV episodes on mobile devices – for free,” the company wrote on its blog. Formerly, the free-viewing experience was restricted to computers/laptops, but this will change as of today.
Along with its commitment to a mobile, ad-viewing experience, Hulu looks to bring three additional types of ads to its services. The company’s teaming up with Pizza Hut to bring you an in-stream purchase ad geared at viewers who want to order pizza without having to abandon their movie to do so. Now, your hunger doesn’t have to stop your movie distraction. Next, Hulu looks to bring its ad experience to all platforms, whether you’re on an Apple TV or an iPad. Last but not least, Hulu 360 ads are targeted to you based on whatever platform you’re on at the time. Hulu hasn’t said much about these ads, except to say that “we go beyond the traditional video ad to serve a groundbreaking viewing experience.”
While Hulu viewers care little for additional ads in their viewing experience, they’ll enjoy the additional shows available for free on their mobile devices. Now, if they could just get Dominos Pizza onboard.
While giving American viewers more of what they want, Hulu has taken restrictive measures against international citizens. Some have been using VPNs in recent days to access American content from the service, but Hulu is now taking steps to stop this. If you have a VPN activated an attempt to access the service (whether legitimately or illegitimately), Hulu will display the following message: “Based on your IP address, we noticed that you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu isn’t currently available outside the U.S. If you’re in the U.S. you’ll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu.”
iPhone users can expect a re-designed Hulu app this summer.