It's the sort of thing that Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer might yada yada yada about if "Seinfeld" was still on the air: paying for a subscription to a streaming service, only to still be peppered with commercials?
It's been less than 24 hours since all 180 episodes of "Seinfeld" became available to stream on Hulu, and ad-adverse viewers have begun voicing their dismay at having to sit through commercials during their favorite comedy.
For the uninitiated: Hulu offers a paid subscription tier to their online video service at a cost of $7.99 a month that gives subscribers access to a wider range of its content, which now includes the "Seinfeld" catalog.
The streaming service relies on advertising revenue to help pay for the cost of expensive programming like "Seinfeld." For current shows that are available to stream on Hulu the day after airing, the streaming service splits the ad revenue with the TV networks that supply the shows.
Because Hulu is owned by some of the major media companies -- Walt Disney Co., NBCUniversal and Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox -- they have structured the deals to also benefit those networks.
Oh I'll be canceling my @hulu after I watch all of Seinfeld. Ridiculous that I've seen 2 ads less than 60 seconds into the first episode.— costanza (@swedmau5) June 24, 2015
It's a shame it will take me 9 years to watch all of Seinfeld because of the ads on Hulu— I'm Ben (@RewindBen) June 24, 2015
While there's no denying the ad-load, it is fewer than what viewers who tune-in to the show's repeats on cable are likely to encounter.
Hulu, after being included in some of the tweeted complaints, apologized to some users for what some consider an inconvenience. And they did hint that they haven't ruled out an ad-free plan.
@michaelecasey So sorry! Our focus is day-after-air tv, so we're currently ad-supported across all shows. Haven't ruled out an ad-free plan.— Hulu Support (@hulu_support) June 18, 2015
The social media kerfuffle underscores how many users today come to expect an ad-free streaming experience. Hulu’s ad-supported model has been viewed by some as a roadblock keeping the Santa Monica-based company from reaching the scale of Netflix and Amazon because the modern viewer wants to minimize interruptions, particularly if they're binge-watching.
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