Hulu coming to the iPad is sort like the iPhone coming to Verizon. No one really knows when it’s going to happen, but everyone assumes that it eventually will.
It’s no secret that Hulu has been exploring ways to get their content onto the iPad, but bringing that plan to fruition is a lot easier said than done. There are complex licensing issues in play, the whole Hulu-not-abandoning-Flash thing, along with the basic issue of how do you get folks to pay for an app they can get for free on the web.
That said, a stream of speculative reports over the past few weeks have stated that Hulu has already decided on a subscription service, and we can only hope that it will see the light of day in the near future.
And if you believe in miracles, that day may be sooner than later. Citing two sources familiar with Hulu’s plans, Reuters reported earlier this week that the popular video site is planning to roll out an app onto a variety of consumer devices, the iPad included.
One of those devices is expected to be Microsoft Corp’s Xbox, which also features Netflix Inc’s movie streaming service, one of the sources said on Tuesday. Another one of the sources said Hulu was also working to offer its service on Apple Inc’s iPad.
Here’s a practical problem, however, that someone at Hulu is hopefully addressing:
Hulu, by virtue of it being a free online service, is exceedingly popular amongst a demographic of consumers who prefer to get their TV entertainment for free via a computer than via $55+ monthly statements from cable providers. So if Hulu does in fact go with a subscription service, how can they convince consumers to fork over enough hard earned cash to make the app a success?
Well, more content seems like a pretty solid idea.
Again, these reports are highly speculative, so take them with a grain of salt – and with that disclaimer out of the way, the LA Times reported back in April that Hulu was planning a $9.95 subscription service called “Hulu Plus” that would offer users a much wider selection of content, such as full-length seasons of popular TV shows. As the service currently stands, only the 5 most recent episodes from popular TV shows are available for viewing.
Intriguing stuff, but we’ve been down this road a few times already, and much like the ongoing iPhone/Verizon saga, Hulu on the iPad can without a doubt be filed away in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” category.