Hulu Down: Users Report Widespread Problems Accessing Streaming Service

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

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

According to user reports, the problems with Hulu encompassed both the on-demand and live TV tiers of the service and were occurring 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. Thanks for your patience!”

Meanwhile, on Thursday evening, the main page for 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 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, “Hulu was unable to start. Please exit and try again.”

Reps for Disney Streaming Services, which operates Hulu, did not immediately provide comment or additional information on the outage. There were no evident issues with Disney+ or ESPN+, which are also operated and managed by Disney Streaming Services.

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