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Hulu is still Hulu, even minus the 'Plus'

Don't be confused by the streaming service's pared-down moniker: Hulu officially dropped the "Plus" from its $7.99-subscription tier, but it's a change in name only.

Hulu's $7.99-a-month subscription service has dropped the "Plus," but it still gives members earlier access to some full episodes and lets them watch on mobile devices. Joan E. Solsman/CNET

Hulu Plus is dead, but the service lives on, same as it ever was.

The streaming-TV service simplified its name Tuesday to purely Hulu for both its free tier and its $7.99 monthly member program, but nothing else has changed.

The company explained the name change in April at a presentation for advertisers. Going just by Hulu simplifies the brand, the company said. Hulu continues to have a free option with ads, as well as a paid service for $7.99 a month -- still with ads. The paid membership gives subscribers access to certain episodes earlier and the ability to watch on mobile devices, as well as other perks.

In the last two years, Hulu has dropped into the shadow of bigger rival Netflix. Hulu is a joint venture of some of TV's biggest networks, helping it with access top shows, and it licenses additional popular programming like "Seinfeld" and "The Daily Show." But its star dimmed while it searched for direction after its founding CEO departed and its traditional-TV parents -- Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast, through its NBC Universal arm -- tried and failed to sell Hulu.

"2015 is the year Hulu will break out," Chief Executive Mike Hopkins said in April, when it also unveiled a deal to license all episodes of and updated its subscriber numbers, at the time nearly 9 million strong.