Mobile

Hulu removes free trials and new sign ups from Android as Google starts enforcing Play billing system

Hulu-Android-app-initial-screen

Hulu has removed the ability to sign up for new accounts and free trials from its Android app. The move comes as Google has started enforcing third-party apps to switch to its Play Billing system for in-app purchases. If an app doesn’t want to use the Play Billing system, it must remove its own billing system. For Hulu, adopting Play Billing means sharing a revenue cut (up to 15%) with Google every time a new user signs up or renews their subscription. To avoid this, Hulu has now paused new sign ups and free trials through its Android app.

The recent update to Hulu for Android and the Hulu app for Android TV has removed the option to sign up for a new account or a free trial. Before this change, Hulu displayed “Plans starting at $5.99/month,” and a “Start a free trial” button when you launched the app for the first time. Now, it only shows the log in option alongside the following message:

Are you trying to sign up for Hulu?

Sorry, we’re unable to do sign ups in the app. If you’re already a subscriber, log in below to start watching.

Hulu log in screen on Android app

While Hulu hasn’t officially disclosed the reasoning for this move, it’s likely prompted by Google’s recent push to enforce its own billing system. Google’s new Play Billing policy came into effect on April 31, 2022. Since then, we have seen many apps making changes to comply with the updated payments rules. Last month, Barnes and Noble and Audible both removed the ability to buy new books from their respective Android apps.

If you’re already subscribed to Hulu, you can continue to enjoy the service without any interruption via the Android app. For now, new users looking to try out the service will have to go to Hulu’s website or use the iOS app to create a new account.

In March, Google announced a new “User Choice Billing” program that allows select app developers to keep or add their own billing system as long as they offer the Play billing system as an option. Currently, Spotify is the only confirmed partner in the User Choice Billing program. It’ll be interesting to see whether Google will allow Hulu, Audible, and Barnes & Nobles to take advantage of the new program.

Source: 9to5Google