Hulu promises free and full TV episodes for mobile devices
Mobile users will be able to catch selected full TV episodes for free without need of a Hulu Plus subscription starting this summer.
Hulu is expanding its free video viewing options for mobile users.
Starting this summer, the streaming video site will unveil a selection of ad-supported full TV episodes for all mobile users, most notably those who don't have a Hulu Plus subscription, Hulu revealed in a blog posted Wednesday. Currently, full episodes are available free to non-subscribers only on the desktop, while non-paying mobile users can watch only clips of TV shows.
"With our re-imagining of mobile viewing, we want you, our viewers, to have more access to the content you love, right at your fingertips," Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said in the blog.
Hopkins also teased a new version of the Hulu Plus iPhone app slated for release this summer and touted the reach of Hulu Plus, which now numbers more than 6 million subscribers -- up from 5 million in December.
"Hulu Plus is now accessible on more than 400 million internet-connected devices in the United States, including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Chromecast, and most recently, Amazon's new set-top box, Amazon Fire TV," Hopkins said. "After redesigning our living room devices such as Roku and Wii-U, we saw average-minutes-viewed increase by over 30 percent. And out of our tens of millions of viewers, there are 3,000 unique ways Hulu viewers access content on Hulu and Hulu Plus (for example, I watch on my iPad and Apple TV)."
Hopkins' tooting of the Hulu horn comes amid the Hulu Upfront event held Wednesday in New York. Geared toward the site's advertising partners, the 2014 Hulu Upfront gave the company a chance to trot out the stars and creative talent behind its Hulu Originals programming.
Among Hulu's original shows, "Deadbeat" has been granted a second season, while "The Awesomes," "Quick Draw," and "East Los High" have been given firm dates for their second-season debuts. Hulu's teen dance drama "The Next Step" lands in the US on May 28 and reality TV satire "Hotwives of Orlando" will hit Hulu viewers in July.
One innovation on the advertising side could appeal to pizza lovers. Hopkins said that Hulu will roll out an "In-Stream Purchase Unit" later this year with Pizza Hut as its partner. This "unit" will allow hungry Hulu viewers to order pizza via a commercial without having to leave Hulu.