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Hulu on Wednesday added a $12 "No Commercials" tier to its steaming video service, looking to better compete with rivals like Netflix and HBO Now, which have always been ad-free.
The existing zero-cost and $8 tiers will remain available, Hulu said. Both of those include advertising, but a paid subscription is needed to watch some content, or any video at all on mobile devices and set-top boxes.
The No Commercials option is not fully ad-free, however. Seven TV shows have been deemed "exceptions," according to Re/code, namely New Girl, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Grey's Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Grimm.
These will have 15-second ads before they begin, followed by 30-second spots at the end. Unlike the free and $8 tiers, there will be no mid-show interruptions.
Rumors of an ad-free tier first emerged in July. The company was reportedly interested in a balance between attracting people used to ad-free video and keeping ad revenue flowing.
The announcement comes on the eve of a Sept. 9 Apple press event during which Apple is expected to reveal a radically redesigned Apple TV. A key feature may be Roku-like universal search, allowing people to locate content across multiple services and choose the one they want to go with.