You won't be able to watch free TV on Hulu for much longer: The streaming service is moving to a subscription-only model later this year.

The change is a blow to TV fans who've looked to Hulu for free access to new-ish episodes of TV (the five most recent eps of certain shows, available eight days after air), but according to the company, the free service -- which also includes some movies -- has become less and less popular in recent years. Now, consumers who want to turn to Hulu for current television programming have to pony up either $7.99 per month for an ad-supported version, or $11.99 per month for an ad-free version.

"For the past couple years, we've been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers," said Hulu senior VP and head of experience Ben Smith in a statement. "As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy."

Hulu will offset its shedding of free TV by partnering with Yahoo! for its own free service, called Yahoo View, which will essentially take over Hulu's old model of offering ad-supported content from ABC, NBC, and Fox, also eight days after the original air date. Other extras are also expected.

There's no official date yet for the switch, but Variety reports that "The free Hulu service will be phased out over the next few weeks."

[via: Variety]

Photo credit: Hulu