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Hulu ‘Throttled’ Service on Computers to Force Customers to Use Mobile App, Lawsuit Claims

Streaming service intentionally slows down service on computers so that it can try and grab more data from subscribers using its app, lawsuit claims

Hulu “throttled,” or slowed down, its service for subscribers looking to stream content on their computers, according to a recent lawsuit. The service, which has more than 30 million subscribers across all of its streaming plans, throttled service in order to force customers to stream on its app, where the company can more easily grab their data, according to the suit.

Hulu did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

“The marketing and advertising of the Hulu Subscriptions contain numerous false and misleading claims that the Hulu Subscriptions will provide high quality streaming services such that consumers can watch its ‘on all your favorite devices,” the lawsuit, filed April 16 in Los Angeles Superior Court, states.

Hulu, according to the lawsuit, is able to “charge a substantial price premium” for its subscriptions, even though the service, when access on computers, “are throttled to prevent high quality streaming.” The Disney-owned service does this, the lawsuit adds, to force subscribers to use its app, which “opens up a multitude of opportunities for [Hulu] to customize their data collection and further monetize their subscribers.”

The class-action lawsuit names Kim Atkinson and Kyle Stevens as two parties impacted by Hulu’s practices, and asks other subscribers to join the complaint.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.