Details are finally emerging surrounding Hulu’s long-rumored live-TV service. While a specific launch date is seems to be more elusive than expected, Hulu has provided a launch window—mid-May 2017.
According to TechCrunch, the service will cost $39.99 a month for its base level service—there will likely be additional levels of service for a higher price. This stays true to Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins’ earlier statement that the service will be less than $40 per month. However, it is important to note that this pricing is not set in stone. Given the previous comments made by Hopkins, and the general competitive nature of the streaming market right now, it would be surprising to see that price go anywhere but down before the public launch of the service.
Hulu has been telling its employees to prepare for a May launch of the service, but what exactly that means is anyone’s guess. While the specific day remains a secret, the reports are certain that the service will launch sometime this May.
The new service will offer access to Hulu’s on-demand content, live-network broadcasts, and those broadcast network’s on-demand content. This, of course, also includes all of Hulu’s original content as well. The live-TV service will also offer a limited amount of recording and cloud storage space; the amount of space you get will be directly related to the tier of service you decide to pay for. This service cannot be marketed as a DVR, however, because it will not allow for fast forwarding. So while you can record shows, you will have to watch all of the commercials.
Hulu’s live-TV service is clearly designed to be a major competitor towards cable, and an oversaturated streaming market that includes companies like Sling TV, Playstation Vue, DirecTV Now and YouTube TV. Hulu is ready to jump into the game, and if this new live-TV service works it could be a major disruptor in the streaming industry. Particularly because the target audience for this service seems to primarily be people who are looking to bundle their live-TV and on-demand programming.