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Hulu announces ad-free streaming for extra money

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Give Hulu 12 bucks a month instead of eight (or none) and you can get your shows (almost) entirely advertisement free, reports Deadline.

Until now, Hulu has charged Hulu Plus subscribers $7.99 for access to its full library of content, a price point that puts it on par with competitor Netflix, which boasts a subscriber base more than four times larger than Hulu's. But where the two services differ (aside from which shows are available where) is that Netflix never breaks up your viewing with ads, whereas Hulu's experience still contains what the company calls "limited commercials."

That's is marketing speech for "I mean, we only make you watch at least three blocks of commercials in a half-hour program."

After "a lot of research," the streaming service has embarked on a new experiment. The hypothesis: consumers will pay $4 more than the competing, ad-free service in order to get still-not-entirely-ad-free access to Hulu's library. While most shows on Hulu's new subscription tier will run without ads, "a few shows... including New Girl, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, Grey's Anatomy, and Agents Of Shield — will have a 15-second pre-roll ad and a 30-second post roll."

As Deadline points out, Hulu is co-owned by Comcast, Disney and Fox, all companies very invested in maintaining a consumer base that is used to watching advertisements along with their television programs, and is used to watching television in a format where those ads cannot be skipped or fast forwarded through.

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