Hulu removes free trials and new sign ups from its Android app

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 implementing 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 needs to remove its own billing system. For Hulu, the adoption of 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 banned new sign ups and free trials through its Android app.

Recent updates to Hulu for Android and the Hulu app for Android TV have removed the option to sign up for a new account or free trial. Prior to this change, Hulu displayed “Plans starting at $5.99/month” and “Start a free trial” buttons when you first launched the app. Now, it only shows the login option with the following message:

Are you trying to sign up for Hulu?

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

Although Hulu hasn’t officially disclosed the reason for the move, it’s likely prompted by Google’s recent push to roll out its own billing system. Google’s new Play billing policy came into effect on April 31, 2022. Since then, we have seen many apps make changes to comply with the updated payment rules. Last month, both Barnes & Noble and Audible removed the ability to purchase new books from their respective Android apps.

If you are already subscribed to Hulu, you can continue to enjoy the service without any interruption through the Android app. For now, new users wanting to try out the service will need to visit 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 will be interesting to see whether Google will allow Hulu, Audible and Barnes & Nobles to take advantage of the new program.


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