Hulu Plus Partners With Google, Brings TV Service To Chromecast
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Google entered the streaming media market this past July with its Chromecast device, a thumb drive-sized dongle that plugs into an HDMI port of a TV. With this device, which runs on Google’s Chrome operating system, content can be streamed to the set from the cloud.
When it was released in July, the $35 device supported four apps including Google’s own YouTube, Google Play Movies, Google Play Music and Netflix. On Wednesday, the service was given a serious boost as Hulu Plus becomes the first new Chromecast partner since its launch.
“At Hulu, we are always thinking of new ways to make watching TV a more delightful and convenient experience for our users. The Hulu Plus app on Chromecast does just that, and we are very excited to announce its arrival today,” Karan Nischol, senior product manager at Hulu, wrote on the company’s blog. “Our teams in Santa Monica and Beijing, working closely with Google, have developed the Hulu Plus app for Chromecast to be a seamless experience that offers a new and exciting way to engage with the shows you love most.”
Owners of Chromecast need only download the Hulu Plus on a phone or tablet to begin streaming to the TV, the blog post added. Users will have the same basic functionality that Hulu offers on the computer or mobile versions including ability to pause/play, or take advantage of the popular 10-second rewind feature.
Hulu Plus subscribers can stream to Google’s Chromecast from Android phones, tablets and iPads, with iPhone support coming soon. Those who wish to view the content will have to subscribe to Hulu Plus, which is available for $7.99 a month – as the free Hulu service is not part of the deal.
However, Hulu reportedly expects to gain subscribers through the Google device.
“We know it’s going to be something impactful,” Lonn Lee, Hulu vice president of product, told USA Today on Wednesday.
How much of an impact Chromecast may have, especially given the fact that a subscription will be required, is not known. Hulu is currently available on more than 390 million connected TVs, smartphones, video game consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 and even set-top boxes.
The arrival of Hulu Plus on Chromecast is not in itself a surprise, as Google has publicly hinted it would deliver streaming for Hulu Plus along with other services. including HBO Go, Pandora and Vevo. However, these services are still not available on Chromecast.
Hulu Plus and Netflix have been seen as having the potential to seriously disrupt the traditional cable and satellite set-top box market. These over-the-top (OTT) services have gained ground among mainstream consumers, according to a study published last month by Hub Entertainment Research. The study found people who use Hulu Plus are also highly engaged and that it is their default source for TV content, even higher than Netflix subscribers – with 29 percent of Hulu Plus subscribers indicating this fact compared to just 20 percent of whom say Netflix is their respective default source.
Streaming video service Hulu, which is co-owned by 21st-Century Fox, NBC Universal and Walt Disney, had looked to potential buyers earlier this year, but in July the owners looked to invest as much as $750 million to spur its growth.