Hulu Plus joins the Google Chromecast crew

The Google Chromecast media app-to-TV broadcasting dongle finally begins to add support for new apps. First to jump in the Chromecast pool: Hulu Plus.

Chromecast's promise of working with more apps than just Netflix and YouTube took a step toward being fulfilled Wednesday as Google added Hulu Plus to the mix.

Hulu Plus support will allow owners of the $35 Chromecast HDMI dongle (read CNET's review) to stream over Wi-Fi, from Android or iOS devices to televisions, a variety of Hulu Plus-exclusive shows such as "Parks and Recreation" and "Modern Family." Updates to the Hulu Plus app will begin rolling out for Android phones and tablets, and for iPads, later on Wednesday. iPhone support is expected soon.

Hulu Plus could be a big win for Google. A survey by Parks Associates found that 43 percent of those surveyed use the Chromecast to watch Netflix on their TVs on a daily basis, and about one-third use the device to watch free Hulu shows. It's important to note that the survey sample size was tiny -- only 148 Chromecast users out of 3,000 total broadband consumers in the study.

Meanwhile, BTIG Research notes that the Chromecast is the No. 1 best-selling item in Amazon.com's Electronics section.

Also interesting to note is that while techies might be annoyed at what they perceive as the slothful pace that Google has been adding apps to the Chromecast, non-tech outfits like Variety lead their stories by pointing out that it "only" took two months for Hulu Plus to add Chromecast support.

Google wouldn't comment directly on whether there was a delay in Chromecast-supported apps, reiterating that Hulu was one of the early developers "enabling Google Cast technology in [its] apps. A Google spokesperson told CNET, "We're working hard to launch the official SDK to bring a lot more content to the platform," which would indicate that the SDK is not yet ready for prime time.

Previously, Chromecast worked only with its launch apps: Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Music, and Google Movies and TV. Hulu Plus becomes the first of what has been promised will be a long line of media apps that are Chromecast-compatible, including HBO Go, Pandora, Revision3, Vevo, and Vimeo.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. with more details about Chromecast app popularity.

Updated at 4:16 p.m. with statement from Google.

 

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