Hulu Plus gets lots of minuses on iTunes

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One the sacred commandments of retail is ‘Thou shalt not raise prices, at least not so noticeably as to incur the wrath of thy customers.’

Seems that rule also applies to online videos. Hulu Plus, a $9.99-a-month video service introduced Tuesday, is getting lots of minuses when it comes to user ratings for its iTunes app, which lets subscribers view Hulu videos on Apple Inc.'s iPads.

As of 9 a.m. Friday, the Hulu Plus app had received 3,173 one-star ratings out of a total 3,836 on iTunes. That’s 83% of reviewers claiming to be unhappy with the app. Check out a snapshot of the full ratings profile, pictured on the left.

Just for comparison, 24% of those who reviewed the Netflix app gave it one star.


Why all the frowns for Hulu Plus?

Hulu executives this week said the new service would be in addition to the site’s current offering of free TV shows. But viewers aren’t seeing it that way. One reviewer summed up the rage in a relatively tame comment, saying, ‘Why pay $10 a month for something that was free on my computer?’

Another common complaint: the ads. One reviewer wrote, ‘They want $10/mo to watch TV shows WITH COMMERCIALS included. No thanks.’ Another review, entitled ‘Useless,’ read, ‘What idiot would pay 10 bucks a month to watch ads.’

Note to TV executives: Fabulous app! Except for one small thing. Viewers don’t seem to like it.

-- Alex Pham