Hulu has announced that they are beginning to roll out profiles to their more than 12 million subscribers. They have started rolling profiles out to a small subset of their viewers and will continue to roll out the feature to more viewers across more devices.
After the new profiles feature is rolled out to your Hulu account, you can add up to six specific profiles. I did not realize, until I read Hulu’s announcement, that Hulu lacked profiles. Netflix has had a similar feature for a long time. Hulu explains the reasoning behind profiles this way:
…TV is very personal and we know people share their Hulu with spouses, kids and family members. Inevitably, you may not be as enthusiastic about Sci-Fi as your spouse. And it is likely that new episodes of Doc McStuffins are not quite as exciting for you as they are for your children. The next step in creating the most personal TV experience is introducing profiles.
Hulu users will start by creating a profile. That user will then be taken through a “taste picking experience” where they will tell Hulu what types of shows and movies they like and what types of shows and movies they don’t like. This helps Hulu to know what shows to recommend to you.
Each individual profile can do a “taste picking experience”. Each profile will have its own name, personal info, viewing history, recommendations, and Watchlist. There will also be a new Kids profile type. It will allow young viewers to browse content in the Kids Hub freely, without having to worry about running into mature content.
Hulu has announced that they are now offering a commercial-free option to their subscribers. This is in addition to their subscription option that show a limited amount of ads. For a few dollars more, those ads can disappear (in most cases).
Many people feel that if they are paying a subscription fee to a TV streaming service that the shows should not have ads in them. In general, the idea is that you can either watch things for free – with ads included – or pay to avoid the commercials. Hulu’s “Limited Commercials” plan didn’t quite make sense because it was billing people $7.99 a month for a subscription while continuing to stick commercials into the content they chose to watch.
Hulu now offers a “No-Commercials” plan. It costs $11.99 a month, and will allow you to watch TV shows on Hulu without having to see any commercials. The FAQ notes that if you sign up with an iOS device and pay for your Hulu “No Commercials” subscription with your iTunes account, the cost is $13.99 per month.
To get people interested in this new plan, Hulu is offering a 1 week free trial. If the only thing holding you back from getting a Hulu account was the ads, it might be worth it to check out the free trial of the “No-Commercials” plan.
The FAQs point out that not all of the shows and movies on the “No Commercials” plan will be commercial-free. Most of them will, however. There are some shows that Hulu has not obtained the rights to stream commercial free. Those shows will have a short commercial before and after each episode. In other words, the shows won’t have commercial interruptions. Currently, that list of shows includes: Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Scandal, Grimm, New Girl, and How to Get Away With Murder.