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Hulu has most-annoying commercials, survey reveals

Disney's general entertainment service also has the most-repetitive ads, according to customer feedback

Disney's general entertainment service also has the most-repetitive ads, according to customer feedback

The home screen of streaming television service Hulu.
The home screen of streaming television service Hulu. A new survey revealed customers found Hulu’s ads to be more-annoying and more-repetitive than any other service. (Photo courtesy Walt Disney Company; Graphic designed by The Desk)

Customers of Hulu’s streaming service are more-annoyed by commercial interruptions than subscribers of other comparable services, according to a survey released earlier this month.

The survey, conducted by analytics firm Whip Media, found more than 60 percent of Hulu subscribers were slightly or very annoyed by commercial interruptions, the biggest amount of any service.

Hulu has more than 46 million customers, with most paying $7 a month for access to thousands of movies and TV shows that are interrupted by commercials. A more-expensive version of Hulu eliminates commercial interruptions at a cost of $13 a month. The service is majority-owned and wholly controlled by the Walt Disney Company, which recently announced plans to raise the price of Hulu’s two subscription tiers.

More than 40 percent of customers who chose the ad-supported tier of Hulu said the company streams more customers than they expected, according to Whip Media’s findings, with only 2 percent saying the amount of commercials is less than what they expected.

The survey also collected responses from customers of Comcast’s Peacock, Paramount Global’s Paramount Plus and Warner Bros Discovery’s two streaming services HBO Max and Discovery Plus. Of those, Peacock had the second-highest rate of customers who were annoyed by commercials, followed by Paramount Plus.

Commercial repetition was high across the board, with 73 percent of Hulu streamers saying they see the same advertisements over and over again. Only 13 percent said they see a wide variety, according to Whip Media, while 14 percent said they couldn’t tell if the same commercials replayed while they were streaming.

While Hulu may have the most-annoying and repetitive commercials according to customer feedback, it also has one of the highest customer satisfaction rates compared to the other four streamers. According to Whip Media, 84 percent of customers who opt for the ad-supported version of Hulu were satisfied with the service, beaten only by HBO Max with a 92 percent satisfaction rating.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).