Hulu Plus: My 5 Minutes as a Member

I am an avid television watcher. I love my TiVo, I love my iPod Touch, I love my Netflix, and I love my Roku. So, when I heard that Hulu, the most popular hub of ad-supported online television streaming, was releasing a subscription service it did get me interested. Perhaps this was the final blow in the cable companies hold on us all? When I heard that it was coming to the Roku Player I became even more excited that I could stream it right on my television. And - when I heard they lowered their subscription fee to $7.99 (to match the Netflix streaming only number) and they were letting you have a free preview week - I knew that I had to jump on and try.

I jumped off five minutes later. Seriously.

I synced it up to my Roku player, and the first thing I noticed was that instead of using an interface that I am accustomed to on Roku, the look was much like the Hulu web site - which I thought was pretty nice.

I clicked over to NBC and then to “The Office” to watch my first video. I was a little shocked to see an ad come up before the show started? Wasn’t I paying for this? Why and I seeing an ad? Netflix doesn’t have ads. Is this because these shows are so new that they need to advertise still? Then what am I paying for? Simply to get it on my TV? That doesn’t seem right.

The other thing I noticed was that “Community” wasn’t showing up in the list of NBC shows. I thought it was a little weird so I found the search engine and when I typed ‘Community’ I was given this message:

"Web Only"

Really? Web Only? So I go to look for another one of my favorite shows - Fringe. I type in ‘Fringe’ and in the results I see….

"Web Only"

What? That’s not good?

Okay, let me check another one of my favorite shows, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

Guess what? “Web Only”

Okay, so I found one show that I want to watch and it’s ad supported. I find three other shows that I love and they are only available on the web site. Sorry Hulu, but that is a horrible business model.

The moment Netflix discovered that streaming was their future, they gave all of their members unlimited streaming and everything they have streaming on their web site is available on every other device they can be found on.

I immediately ran back to my computer and closed my Hulu Plus account.

I was terribly disappointed with what they had to offer and with the fact that I am paying and there are still advertisements before the show.

I know they gave me a free full week to test it out, but I knew in the first five minutes that I would never use it.

Very simply put, I do not recommend Hulu Plus. It’s not worth the money.

(2 years later - I changed my mind)
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