The name “Hulu Plus” is no longer, but why?
Members of the streaming video service were alerted to the change via an email this week with the subject: “Just call us Hulu! (Not Hulu Plus).”
Here’s the one I received:
Hulu actually first announced the name change during its upfront presentation to advertisers in April, but that’s a select audience and the change became official this week.
But before we go into the company’s reasons for the name change, let’s revisit the birth of Hulu Plus.
Previously supported by just advertising, Hulu Plus was born out of a desire to offer a paid subscription service and generate new revenue. Although Hulu Plus still included commercials, members had access to a larger amount of the service’s library.
So, why would Hulu decide to drop the “Plus”?
While a Hulu representative declined to comment for this article, a staffer with knowledge of the decision spoke to Business Insider on the condition of anonymity.
That individual said the decision was certainly backed by research and primarily driven to “make marketing more effective.” Both the free and paid services will continue, but “this change will help us to focus on one Hulu brand, allowing more growth for the company overall by bringing in a clearer message to consumers.”
“When you add a new brand, you have to spend money explaining the difference between the brands,” Brand Identity’s founder and chief strategy officer, Chad Kawalec, told BI. “I’m sure they figured out that having to continue to educate people on what the ‘Plus’ meant was more expensive than simply removing it.”
Kawalec also said that in the years since Hulu Plus was created, most consumers have realised that there is almost always a way to upgrade to a higher tier service, something Hulu probably also realised.
“All business models, including the airlines, your cable, the telephone, and in apps have an easy way to get in and then they offer upgrades,” Kawalec said. “For Hulu, that means they can present a Hulu base membership and then the higher tier paid subscription.”
Hulu’s name change could be leading the way. Kawalec believes that Amazon, which needed to market and differentiate its own streaming service, Amazon Prime, from its retail services, will go a similar route to Hulu in the future.
“I have a feeling that they’re going to end up in the same position where it’s just Amazon,” he said. “They have had to spend a lot of money to educate people on what you get with Prime. Have you been on the site? It’s constant. All of their energy goes into that instead of talking about the Amazon brand.”
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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