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Why Does Hulu Plus Have Commercials?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (February 18, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I am a subscriber to Hulu Plus and I like it, particularly for the new episodes of shows that air the day after they air on their networks. But it bugs me that I pay $7.99 a month and they show commercials during the shows. Netflix doesn't do that -- why does Hulu Plus?-- Ed, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ed, you're not the first person to complain about this. Hulu Plus, which costs $7.99 a month, has been frequently criticized for airing commercials during shows, including recent episodes of popular network programs and past episodes of everything from Saturday Night Live to you name it. It should be noted that the commercials are infrequent and usually brief (30 seconds or less), but when you're already paying for the service, it can rub you the wrong way.

However, at its web site, Hulu makes a strong argument that it needs the commercials to generate revenue to buy the rights to episodes of current shows -- and air them the next day. Unlike Netflix, Hulu offers programming within 24 hours of its original airing; Netflix's TV shows are usually offered several months (or more) after they originally aired.

Here's what Hulu says at its web site:

"Hulu Plus offers what no other streaming content service on the market today can: current season episodes of popular shows like Glee, The Office, and Modern Family, and full series runs (all episodes from every season) of popular library shows. We have found that by including a modest ad load, we can keep the price for Hulu Plus under eight bucks, while still providing users with access to the most popular current season shows on the devices of their choice."

I am a subscriber to Hulu Plus myself and I find the ads a modest inconvenience. I wish they weren't there, but I can understand where Hulu is coming from.

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