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
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.