Hulu has a new offer to entice eligible college students: a membership tier that costs $1.99 per month. Starting on Monday, Jan. 11, Hulu is offering a version of its streaming service at a reduced rate for those that can prove they are currently enrolled in college. It is not clear how much this $2 plan will do to boost Hulu's subscriber base.
Hulu announced the new student plan on Monday, according to a report by Variety. It is partnering with SheerID, which says it uses "select authoritative data sources" to confirm that new subscribers are eligible students. All the customer needs to do is fill out a form, giving the company a place to start.
For $2 per month, these subscribers will have access to Hulu's library with ads — just like Hulu's lowest $5.99 per month tier, but at a 67 percent discount. They will even be allowed to stream on two devices simultaneously like other subscribers.
In exchange, Hulu hopes to buy customer loyalty. Industry experts speculate that Hulu hopes the new promotion will rope young users in and get them accustomed to having Hulu access, making them unlikely to cancel it even once they are not students anymore. Hulu reportedly detailed this strategy in December at Disney's "investor day," highlighting how Disney's new ownership has changed its outlook.
Hulu announced that it had 38.8 million subscribers on Dec. 2, 4.1 million of whom paid for Hulu + Live TV — a more expensive tier meant to replace cable. That was a 28 percent increase from the end of 2019 when Hulu revealed it had 30.4 million subscribers in total.
The streaming service is popular for cord-cutters that want a "skinny TV bundle" to replace cable without missing anything. Hulu streams currently-airing TV shows, some week-to-week and others by the season. With Live TV, users can watch select cable and network channels live, record content for later and get access to extended libraries.0comments
Even at the cheaper tiers, Hulu is a popular option for casual TV viewers. It hosts reality series like The Bachelor and Keeping Up with the Kardashians and sitcoms like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. At the same time, its growing list of originals like Solar Opposites, Animaniacs and Little Fires Everywhere are becoming must-see TV in the streaming age.
Still, with new streaming services cropping up all the time and intellectual property rights holders calling their TV shows home, it makes sense that Hulu is working harder than ever to ensnare audiences. See if you're eligible for Hulu's new $2 tier on the company's website here.