Why am I Getting Ads on Hulu After Paying for No Ads?


Do you see ads on Hulu when you’ve paid for the Hulu (No Ads) subscription service? The good news is you’ve come to the right place for answers. The bad news is, you may not like the answers. However, you’ll at least know why you’re still seeing ads with your Hulu subscription.

The reason you see ads with your Hulu (No Ads) subscription is because you’re either watching a show that’s on Hulu’s “Excluded Show List” or you are watching Hulu Live, or a show that’s on-demand that isn’t on Hulu’s library.

You Really Don’t Have a Subscription for Hulu (No Ads)

The first thing to check is to make sure you really do have a subscription to Hulu (No Ads). You may think you do, but it’s always worth double-checking, especially if you recently upgraded to No Ads.

Simply go to your account page and confirm your subscription is for Hulu (No Ads). Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon to discover your account may not have been updated if you thought you upgraded to Hulu (No Ads). Why? Sometimes there’s a glitch, or maybe a CONFIRM button wasn’t pressed.

The good news, if this is the case, is you didn’t actually get upgraded, so you haven’t actually paid for Hulu (No Ads) yet. If you have been charged but it still says you’re only on the regular plan, it’s time to call the Hulu Customer Service line.

Excluded Shows on Hulu (No Ads)

You’ve confirmed you do indeed have a subscription to Hulu (No Ads). The next thing to do is check and see if the shows you’re watching are on the list of Excluded Shows Hulu maintains that still have ads in them.

Why would Hulu (No Ads) still have shows with Ads?

It all comes down to streaming rights and the amount of total control Hulu does or doesn’t have over the shows it has access to. For example, if Hulu wants to show episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and has a streaming deal in place, that streaming deal may have a certain clause that a certain advertiser will have its product shown in a short ad break before and after the show.

Untitled - October 28, 2022
Untitled - October 28, 2022

Oftentimes, the advertiser has paid a lot of money to have those ad breaks because it knows that show is very popular. Hulu may accept the ad break because it knows that the show may be a reason subscribers want Hulu in the first place and would like to keep the rights to stream the show in the future. So, there’s a compromise.

These shows end up on the Excluded Shows list. A complete list of shows on the “Excluded List” can be found here. If you check it out, you’ll notice the list isn’t very long.

Hulu with Live TV

If you still prefer to watch live TV, like sporting events, but also prefer to do it via streaming, Hulu offers you a great option to do so. Yes, it’s an add-on, so it costs extra in addition to your Hulu (No Ads) subscription. In addition, live TV is still live TV. Part of the price for not watching it on demand are the commercial breaks that still exist.

Yes, you’ve cut the proverbial cord. But with live TV, ads still exist and there’s no way around them yet.

So, if you’re seeing ads with your Hulu (No Ads) subscription, double-check to see if you’re also signed up for Live TV. The answer might be as simple as you’re streaming something that’s actually on TV at that moment.

Cloud DVR

Well, maybe there is a way around those ads with live TV. With a Live TV subscription also comes Cloud DVR capability. As already mentioned, Live TV is an add-on feature for any Hulu subscription. But with it does come the capability to fast forward through ads once the live event is recorded.

Unfortunately, there are still ads, even if you can race through them.

Before, Hulu used to offer Cloud DVR with enhanced capabilities that came without ads. Of course, the cost of the enhanced DVR was extra even if you already had Live TV. Recently, Hulu changed the DVR policy by reducing the cost but including ads throughout, although anyone can fast-forward through them now.

Live TV On-Demand

Not to complicate things, but there’s one more item to cover where you might see ads that don’t necessarily involve watching live TV or recording with the DVR. That, of course, is on-demand programming.

But wait, you might be thinking the majority of the stuff on Hulu is on-demand if it’s not live, right?

Yes, but not everything on-demand on Hulu is part of the Hulu library.

If there’s a new show on, for example, AMC and you can’t watch it on its original air date and you forget to program the DVR to record it, that network may offer that episode the next day on-demand. If you have a Hulu (No Ads) with a Live TV subscription, you may be able to watch that show you missed on-demand the next day. With ads.

Yes, there will still be ads.

Why?

Because that show isn’t officially part of Hulu’s library yet. It still belongs to the network, which has the right to stream it on Hulu’s platform but still show ads as they see fit, within reason.

So, the bottom line is, if you have Live TV with your Hulu (No Ads) subscription, you’re going to have to deal with ads in some form.

Summary

If you have a Hulu (No Ads) subscription, the vast amount of stuff available for you to stream will have no ads as you paid for. However, there are instances where you’ll still see ads, whether it’s because a certain show is on Hulu’s Excluded Shows list or because you have Live TV as part of your package. Just remember, no adds doesn’t mean 100% ad-free. There are exceptions.

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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