Hulu nixes signup options from its Android and smart TV apps

Hulu (Image credit: Hulu)

What you need to know

  • You can no longer create a new Hulu account on Android and smart TVs, possibly due to Google Play's new billing policy.
  • New customers must now sign up through the streamer's website or non-Android devices.
  • Existing customers can still log in to the Hulu app.

Hulu appears to be the latest fallout from Google Play's new billing requirements, as new customers are unable to sign up for the streaming service on their Android phones or smart TVs.

As spotted by 9to5Google, the Hulu app on Android devices and Android TV-based smart TVs no longer allows new customers to create an account. This also precludes anyone from signing up for a free trial.

If you have no existing subscription and want to sign up for Hulu, you'll need to do so through its website or on a non-Android device. Otherwise, you can log in to your account on the Android app as usual.

Android Central has reached out to Hulu for comment and will update this article as soon as we hear back. However, while the service did not provide an explanation for the latest change, it is clearly the result of Google Play's new billing policy, which went into effect in April, requiring developers to process in-app transactions through Google's own billing method.

A message on the app's home screen reads: "Sorry, we’re unable to do sign ups in the app. If you’re already a subscriber, log in below to start watching."

(Image credit: 9to5Google)

Previously, when you opened the app, Hulu displayed options to start a free trial or subscribe right away for a starting price of $5.99 per month.

The new requirement, which allows Google to take a cut of every in-app transaction, did not go down well with developers. In response to Google's policy, Audible and Barnes & Noble recently removed in-app purchases from their Android apps.

To be fair, Google had been lenient with the new requirement, giving developers a grace period of more than a year between announcing it in September 2020 and enforcing the policy earlier in April.

As a result, developers have sought ways to bypass the new system, including advising customers to make their purchases directly through their websites. Hulu is the latest platform to embrace this alternative.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.