Hulu Down: Users Report Widespread Streaming Problems

Hulu was experiencing broad technical difficulties Thursday, as thousands of users spanning the US logged complaints about problems with streaming video and accessing the Hulu app.

User reports of issues with Hulu began to spike around 8 pm ET, according to monitoring site Downdetector — with more than 57,000 complaints registered as of 8:21 pm ET. The problems were reported across the country, with reports concentrated in New York, Boston, Washington, DC, and Chicago.

According to user reports, the problems with Hulu were occurring on both the on-demand and live TV sides of the service across multiple devices.

A message on Hulu’s main support website said, “Playback unavailable? We’re investigating the issue with the highest priority and hope to have things back up and running soon. Thank you for your patience!”


Screenshot of Hulu’s technical support site on April 21

A rep for Disney Streaming Services, which operates Hulu, said in a statement to variety, “We are aware of a technical issue impacting Hulu. We are working to resolve it quickly.” The spokesperson did not provide an ETA on when service would be restored or whether customers would be eligible for refunds because of the outage.

There were no obvious issues Thursday evening with Disney+ or ESPN+, which are also operated and managed by Disney Streaming Services.

Meanwhile, the main page for hulu.com on Thursday displayed an error message to logged-in users that said, “We’ll be back. This page is temporarily unavailable. Please try refreshing the page or go back to the homepage.” Other attempts to access hulu.com returned an error message that said, “upstream request timeout.”

With the Hulu app, users reported that when they tried to stream a title, they saw an error message reading, “We’re having trouble playing this. Rest assured, we’re working on it. In the meantime, it may help if you restart the video.” On some connected TV platforms, launching the Hulu app produced an error message that read, “Sorry. Hulu was unable to start. Please exit and try again.”

In October 2011, Disney raised the price of Hulu’s VOD streaming packages by $1 for both current and new subscribers. Hulu with ads increased from $5.99 to $6.99 per month and Hulu without ads went up from $11.99 to $12.99 per month.

Then in December, Hulu hiked the price of its live TV plans by $5 per month, and with the fee increase started bundling Disney+ and ESPN+ with Hulu + Live TV subscriptions. The live TV service costs $69.99/month (with ads in the subscription VOD content) or $75.99/month (no SVOD ads).

Hulu had 45.3 million total subscribers as of the end of 2021, including 4.3 million on the live TV tiers.

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