Hulu Ends Free Streaming Service

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Before the end of the summer, you'll no longer be able to watch free TV shows and movies at Hulu.com.

The site, one of the pioneers of free, ad-supported Internet video streaming, will soon be available only to paying subscribers.

Hulu offers two subscription plans: $7.99 per month with ads, and $11.99 per month without them. Those options will continue to be available after the free Hulu service is phased out over the next few weeks, according to Variety.

"For the past couple years, we've been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers," Hulu Senior Vice President Ben Smith said in a statement published by Variety. "As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy."

That strategy has evolved considerably since the company, named after an ancient Chinese proverb, began streaming content in 2008. It was set up as a partnership between media companies, including NBC's owner Comcast and AOL. Disney, Fox, CW, and the BBC soon joined.

But as those companies began streaming their TV shows and movies on their own sites, Hulu redefined itself as a place for unique, paid content, like the Criterion collection of classic films, as well as pursuing distribution partnerships.

It appears that the partnership angle has worked out well for the company. Yahoo announced today that Hulu will power a new "community TV-watching site" called Yahoo View.

Yahoo Vice President Jess Lee wrote in a blog post that the new site will "offer thousands of free full-length episodes of premium TV shows, anime and Korean drama, as well as movies and TV clips. We've got everything from Scandal to Empire to One Punch Man to Sungkyunkwan Scandal."

In a nod to Hulu's roots, starting this fall Yahoo View will also offer TV fans the latest five episodes of shows from networks like ABC, NBC and FOX, eight days after their original broadcast.

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