The Tech News Blog

April 25, 2014

Hulu Unveils Hulu Plus Remote Control

Hulu Plus Remote Control/Credit: Hulu

Hulu this week introduced new Hulu Plus remote control functionality allowing Android and iOS devices to control streaming media playing on select game consoles.

The new remote control for Hulu Plus "expand[s] on the great Chromecast support we successfully launched last year," Hulu senior development lead Mitch Walker wrote in a blog post. "[R]emote control functionality for Hulu Plus brings that same awesome experience to your living room through the Hulu Plus app on your Xbox One, PlayStation 3, or PlayStation 4 systems."

After installing the Hulu Plus app on an iPhone, iPad, or Android devices, users simply have to launch the app and it will detect their console if it's turned on and logged in to the same Hulu Plus account, Hulu said. From there, a "cast" button appears on the mobile device, letting users pair their device with their console.

April 8, 2014

Amazon Tops Hulu, Apple; Still Behind Netflix, YouTube

Amazon Instant Video iPad App

Amazon now streams more video than Hulu and Apple, but is still lagging behind rivals Netflix and YouTube, according to new data from online video delivery firm Qwilt.

Over the last 12 months, user consumption of Amazon Prime Instant Video content increased 94 percent, allowing the company to move from fifth to third place in the streaming video space.

The news comes after Amazon last week introduced Fire TV, a streaming media hub that will compete with the Roku, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast. Fire TV is essentially a small box that plugs into your HDTV and offers streaming access to Prime Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, and Showtime, among others.

"In some U.S. operator networks, between March 2013 and March 2014, Amazon's streaming video traffic increase was nearly 300 percent," Qwilt wrote in a blog post. "And all this growth happened before they announced Amazon Fire TV."

In a statement, Amazon's vice president of Digital Video and Music, Bill Carr, said the company has invested "hundreds of millions of dollars" to build up its Prime Instant Video catalog of TV shows and movies. Amazon just last week greenlit six new original series, re-upped the comedy Alphas for another season, and nabbed all 192 episodes of the series 24.

May 8, 2013

Report: Yahoo in Talks to Acquire Hulu (Again)

Hulu PlusThe gradual transformation of Yahoo, led by former Googler Marissa Mayer's aggressive software acquisitions and internal reorganization strategy, appears to be moving ahead at full steam. Now, according to a new report, the company is in talks to snap up online video site Hulu.

Initially launched as a free, advertiser-supported video aggregation site in 2007, today Hulu's premium service, Hulu Plus, has garnered well over 4 million paid subscribers, in addition to those who watch for free. While that trails far behind the roughly 36 million Netflix streaming subsribers, it nevertheless makes Hulu a viable player in the race to monetize online video, a strategy even the leading video site, YouTube, is reportedly only just beginning to consider.

The news of Yahoo's interest in Hulu comes via All Things D in a report that claims Mayer met with the company's executives recently in what is termed as a "getting-to-know-you" meeting. According to the site's sources, no firm bid has been made for the video site, but the meeting itself is a hint at Mayer's interest, particularly in light of Yahoo's recent failed bid to acquire another high-profile video site, Dailymotion. Yahoo's bid to purchase a majority stake in the France-based site, reportedly worth roughly $300 million, was ultimately blocked by the French government.

Yahoo already boasts a significant online video audience of its own at about 55 million unique viewers per month, second only to YouTube's 150 million unique viewers, according to comScore. But acquiring a rapidly growing online video subscription service like Hulu could supercharge Yahoo's recent efforts to establish more major video content partnerships.

Neither Yahoo nor Hulu has commented on the rumors.

May 1, 2013

Hulu Tops 4M Paid Subscribers, Reveals New Original Shows

Hulu Plus on Android (March 2012)Hulu on Tuesday announced two new original shows coming this summer, just as the popular streaming video service topped 4 million paid subscribers.

The company said subscriptions to its Hulu Plus service doubled last year to reach the 4 million mark in the first quarter of 2013. Hulu also set a new record for paid subscriber growth during the quarter, adding nearly a million members between January and March.

"Overall, Hulu continues to grow very quickly," Hulu's acting CEO, Andy Forssell, wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "In Q1 of this year, we set new records for revenue, and for the first time ever, Hulu viewers streamed more than 1 billion content videos in a single quarter."

Quick Draw Hulu

Mobile viewing is also growing at a "significant rate," he added. It will account for about 15 percent of viewership in 2013-2014. Living room viewing accounts for 29 percent of content consumption.

December 17, 2012

Hulu Plus Tops 3 Million Subscribers

Hulu Plus on Android (March 2012)

Hulu announced today that it now has more than 3 million paying Hulu Plus customers, a number that has more than doubled since last year.

Since Hulu Plus exited its private beta, the service has grown from 500,000 users in Nov. 2010 to 1.5 million in January and now, 3 million, Hulu chief Jason Kilar announced in a blog post.

Expanded availability has probably helped things along. In the last year, Hulu Plus has launched for the Apple TV, Nintendo Wii and Wii U, Windows 8 tablets, and many Android-based devices.

Its new subscribers will help Hulu reach about $695 million in revenue this year, Kilar said. That's up about 65 percent from last year, when it was just over $400 million.

Kilar also touted the growing amount of content available on Hulu and Hulu Plus - up 40 percent this year.

"We now have more than 430 content partners, providing over 60,000 TV episodes, 2,300 TV series, and 50,000 hours of video on Hulu and Hulu Plus," Kilar wrote. "In 2012, we invested more than $500 million in content. Since the launch of Hulu in October 2007, we have generated over $1 billion for our content partners."

One of the "highlights," Kilar said, was the launch of Hulu Kids and an expanded partnership with Viacom. "Hulu Plus has become the only online video subscription service with current season content from Nickelodeon," he wrote.

January 13, 2012

Hulu Plus Reaches 1.5 Million Paid Subscribers

Hulu CEO Jason Kilar on Thursday published a blog post detailing some of the streaming video site's highlights from 2011, boasting that Hulu Plus now has more than 1.5 million paid subscribers.

Kilar said Hulu Plus hit that milestone faster than any other video subscription service in the U.S., adding that it is currently gaining twice as many subscribers each day than it was this time last year.

Kilar seems to have high hopes for the continued success of Hulu Plus, too; he predicted that subscriptions will make up more than half of Hulu's business later in 2012.

Hulu's owners might be glad they didn't end up selling the site. Kilar said Hulu saw its business grow 60 percent from 2010 to 2011, reaching around $420 million in revenue.

Content available on the platform expanded significantly last year, too—up 40 percent on Hulu and 105 percent on Hulu Plus.

"Hulu Plus is the only online video subscription service that offers current season content from 5 of the 6 largest U.S. broadcast networks, with shows from the CW and Univision added this quarter," Kilar said.

It doesn't hurt that Hulu is owned by Disney (which owns ABC), News Corp. (which owns Fox), and Comcast (which owns NBC Universal), all three of which have exclusive content deals with their respective networks and Hulu.

January 6, 2011

Netflix, Hulu Coming to Kinect, Windows Phone 7 Getting Update

By Chloe Albanesius

Microsoft Windows logo

LAS VEGAS – Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show here Wednesday night, introducing a variety of product updates, including gesture- and voice-based access to Netflix and Hulu Plus via Kinect and an upcoming software update to Windows Phone 7.

Ballmer announced that Microsoft sold 8 million Kinect devices in its first 60 days; well ahead of the projected 5 million. "This has been the biggest holiday and the biggest year ever for Xbox," Ballmer said.

Taking advantage of this new user base, starting this spring, Xbox users will be able to control their Netflix streaming queue or Hulu Plus account via Kinect. Rather than clicking through movies or TV shows via the remote, users can use gestures or voice commands.

"We will make entertainment more interactive, more social, and more fun for everyone, and we'll do it like no one else can," Ballmer said.

November 17, 2010

Hulu Plus Launches at $7.99/Month

Hulu has become one of the most poplar places online to stream video since it debut a few years ago. The cool part about Hulu is that not only can users get current programs that they may have missed on TV, but the site has lots of cool old shows from decades past to entertain viewers. When Hulu announced Hulu Plus, there were many fans of the service that were excited.

Originally, the price for Hulu Plus was pegged at $9.99 monthly. As competition for streaming content grew, the price for Hulu Plus was more and more out of line with other streaming offerings like Netflix. This lead Hulu to consider a price cut for the service. Rumors circulated that Hulu Plus service could get a price cut to $4.99 monthly.

June 29, 2010

Hulu Plus Coming to iPhone, Xbox 360, PS3…For a Cost

After months and months of speculation, Hulu Plus is finally upon us. The service expands upon the currently free Hulu service by including support for the iPhone, iPad, select Samsung TVs, and select Samsung Blu-ray players.

When it comes to consoles, Sony's PlayStation 3 appears to be the first on deck to receive support for Hulu Plus (the website simply says "Coming Soon"). Support for the Xbox 360 is coming early next year. Hulu Plus will also support select Sony TVs/Blu-ray players, and Vizio TV/Blu-ray players in Fall 2010.