Shifting Streams – Hulu Free and Yahoo View

So as has been reported and discussed around the web and blogosphere, Hulu will be ending its free streaming services.

While Hulu’s free model is going away they will retain their $7.99 with ads/$11.99 without ads models for paying users, whose service will not be changing. Furthermore, Hulu’s free model is essentially being shifted over to Yahoo for what is being called Yahoo View, which will largely operate as usual.

hulu
Freedom from freemium.

There are a few takeaways from this.

Firstly, for those who want free, legal anime streams, the net effect will probably not be terribly noticeable. Essentially the net number of free providers is not changing for many people. In addition, there is a benefit in that Yahoo View is going to allegedly have more backend support for social media integration such as discussion, posting gifs, etc. For anime fans, staying connected and a part of the wider community is always a huge boon, because it keeps us from becoming isolated.

milhouse
It’s fine, loneliness is good for the soul.

 

Secondly, it would appear that Hulu is confident enough in its paid business model to completely sever the free to use option from its brand. While certainly some could argue that this is a terrible, awful, nasty idea, and while in many cases I would agree (free users tend to drive sales, contrary to what many large businesses believe), there is something to be said for existing entirely as a paid streaming model. Netflix has never maintained any sort of free version of its services and is an industry juggernaut. Hulu has ads, but also has more up to date programming and is (like many streaming providers) beginning to grow its own stable of original content.

Overall, it seems more like a shift on an accountant’s spreadsheet more than a major tectonic shift in the industry… except for one very serious element.

Yahoo View will not be available outside the U.S.

For overseas fans, of which there are many, this is devastating news. The loss of legal options to view streaming anime only further criminalizes fans and forces them to pursue other means to be a part of the community. Most likely this has something to do with international licensing rights, and hopefully it is just a temporary issue rather than a long-term one. The Yahoo Finance article mentions that Yahoo View will launch “immediately” in the U.S., but gives no other indication of when/if other areas will be covered. Nevertheless, I hate that huge swathes of fandom may now have to use illegal methods to enjoy the shows they like purely because of their geographic location. This makes for another set of shows that overseas fans will have to use less-than-legal streams to access.

Sokka_with_toucan_puffins

Well, some of us have always been fans of secret rivers I suppose.

Alright Rogues Gallery, let me know what you think. Will this affect your viewing in a major way? Or is this announcement a complete shoulder shrug?

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11 thoughts on “Shifting Streams – Hulu Free and Yahoo View”

      1. I completely agree. I think it must have to do with licensing more than anything, given how Crunchyroll has transformed over the years. I keep hoping that a similar thing happens for them or someone makes something like them.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hmm … from my own standpoint, I’ve never used Hulu so it won’t make any real difference. Here in the UK, we don’t have that many options anyway. I gave up on Animax after the service degraded, and now use Crunchyroll. Crunchyroll has been awesome bar there being some shows that I wanted to watch that aren’t available in the UK as yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a dark day when you have to rely on Yahoo for anything and an even darker day when you can’t even get that option. I feel for you, overseas folks.

    On another note, I am genuinely curious to see how they implement their social media integration. I’m not really holding my breath here or anything, but it might be cool if lightning manages to strike and Yahoo ends up not screwing the pooch in some way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really hate it when things get more restrictive instead of more open, which always forces people to do things they wouldn’t usually do because there’s no alternative. As a EU user, I’ve seen my share of exclusive games/streamings on the US land, and it really sucks when it happens :/
    I’ll keep my out for the Yahoo service, but won’t have any expectations (´∀`)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know I’m late on saying this but yeah, it really does suck about Hulu ditching the free model and most of their anime selection has gotten less and less although personally for me, I was using Hulu less for anime (unless it’s Viz stuff) and more on CR and FUNi.

    You know, I joked about Yahoo Video still being relevant but now it looks like I might go there whenever I need to look at Viz Media anime.

    Liked by 1 person

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