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Hulu Will Kill Off Its Free Streaming Service

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Hulu will be phasing out its free (but ad-filled) streaming service, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Since 2007, when Hulu first launched, the streaming provider has been offering free, on-demand viewings of recently-aired shows from networks such as Fox and NBC. The offerings include some notable giants, like The Daily Show and The Bachelorette. There are also some niche treats, from anime shows such as Endride, to something called The Real Exorcist, which at first glance looks like a reality show about a Simon Pegg-lookalike in an ascot scarf who goes on a mission to banish demons from rural towns.

Well, if it sounds like The Real Exorcist is up your alley, you better set aside the weekend to gorge on it, because Hulu's free service will be dying out within the next few weeks. The move, while perhaps surprising at first glance, isn't out of left field. The fact is that a lot of the shows can already be viewed on their respective network's websites. Also, Hulu has just reached an agreement where it'll license its free material to Yahoo, reports Variety. Marissa Mayer's company is launching Yahoo View, an ad-supported streaming service, and it'll receive Hulu's free shows in a nice gift basket. So, all in all, you'll still be able to watch Hulu's free shows, but just not on Hulu.

Hulu, of course, has been capitalizing on the shift to original, subscription-based content. Their original content includes 11.22.63, James Franco's riff on Stephen King material, and Casual, yet another show about single people struggling with single-ness. Hulu is riding this wave as it competes with Netflix and Amazon, who are killing it with their respective original content. The streaming provider is also preparing to launch its live-TV service in 2017, according to Variety. So far, all we know about this service is that it'll lean heavily on local broadcasts; pricing and packaging remain a mystery.

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I bid you farewell, Free Hulu. Thank you for introducing me to Wings, even if I'd stopped after the first three episodes. Anyway, here's "the real exorcist" battling demons in Ukraine.