Looking to gain traction with a younger user base, Hulu this morning announced it's dropping the price of its on-demand streaming service to $1.99 per month for students over 18 who are attending a U.S. college or university. This represents a more than 65% discount off Hulu's ad-supported subscription, which typically sells for $5.99 per month, the company says.
The students will gain access to the same version of Hulu's streaming service, which includes its library of thousands of on-demand movies and TV, including Hulu Originals. They'll also be able to use the recently launched Watch Party feature that allows users to co-watch with friends and family in different locations as well as use group chat in a sidebar as the content plays.
Over the past few years, Hulu has offered a variety of deals and discounts aimed at growing its user base. In fall 2017, for example, it partnered with Spotify on a combo deal, also aimed at students. It later expanded this deal to include Showtime and then opened it to a broader audience. In 2019, Hulu also again dropped the standard price for its streaming service while raising the cost of its Live TV add-on and rolled out an even more discounted Spotify-Hulu combo.
These promotions help to boost Hulu's subscriber base to its entry-level service in the hopes that users will later choose to upgrade to Hulu's more expensive plans. For students, in particular, the goal is to capture the market while users are young and paying for subscriptions possibly for the first time. When the students graduate, Hulu believes they'll continue to still see the value in its service and convert to fully paid customers.
This new student deal arrives a couple of months after Hulu once again raised the price of its Hulu with Live TV plan -- this time to help fund the addition of 14 new ViacomCBS channels. As Hulu's Live TV service becomes to look more like traditional pay TV in terms of its pricing, it becomes even more important to attract users to Hulu's on-demand plan as the first step toward later upsells.
Hulu says the new student deal is "evergreen" and begins to roll out today.