Ever since Hulu added a premium subscription tier, users have questioned why they still have to sit through advertisements even after choosing to pay $7.99 a month. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Hulu has heard the criticism, which is why the company is exploring a brand new tier without any ads.
People close to the matter tell WSJ that the project is codenamed “NOAH,” or “No Ads Hulu,” internally. If Hulu decides to move forward with the program, it could launch as early as this fall — but here’s the kicker: it will likely cost between $12-14 a month.
For users who don’t mind paying Hulu an additional $60 or $70 every year, this option is going to be a no-brainer, but everyone else is probably going to be left wondering why they have to pay extra for something that Netflix and Prime Instant Video users having been taking for granted for years.
As WSJ explains, Hulu is trying to strike a very careful balance in order to maintain its relationship with TV networks while giving users what they want. After all, Netflix and Prime Instant Video might not have ads, but they also don’t stream new episodes of popular television shows hours after they air.
Hulu has had a great year, with three million additional subscribers bringing its total to nine million premium members, but that number still pales in comparison to Netflix’s whopping 65 million users. An ad-free tier, even at an inflated price, might be enough to shrink that deficit, even if only by a hair.