At the end of last year, Netflix updated its iOS app with long-awaited support for offline playback and now Hulu is planning to do the same. In a new interview with Adweek, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins touched on Hulu’s plans for offline viewing, a streaming TV service, and more.
Speaking on the company’s upcoming live streaming bundle, Hopkins explained that Hulu worked hard to secure deals with all four of the major networks, specifically CBS, which AT&T’s DirecTV Now lacks. Hopkins explained that he wants Hulu’s live streaming platform to be sports-centric, which is a central point of CBS’s offerings:
CBS has the No. 1 network [in ages] 18-54, and they have a lot of really great programming. We’re going to make this a sports-centric offering, and if you’re going to make that part of your package, you have to have NFL, you have to have the complete March Madness package and all of the other great sports that they have.
We thought it would be important to have the big four broadcasters, and CBS certainly rounds that package out for us.
Hopkins also touched on Hulu’s plan to include a cloud DVR with its streaming service, explaining that for the service to be a “complete offering,” DVR support is something that must be there.
One feature that Hulu also has in the pipeline is offline video support. Hopkins explained that saving content for offline viewing is something that’s on Hulu’s “road map.” While there’s no clear time-table for the rollout, the feature is coming in a “few months” as Hulu works to secure rights from partners and perfecting the technology.
Yes, it’s definitely on our road map. It’s something that we’re going be doing in a few months. We’re working hard on the technology around that and getting the rights squared away.
Hulu’s iOS app was updated recently with support for user profiles, something that Netflix has offered for a while now. Each user profile can be fully customized with their own Watchlist, recommendations, and viewing history.
Hulu’s plans for a streaming TV bundle come following DirecTV Now and Apple’s own failed efforts at creating a similar service. Apple reportedly gave up on its quest due to trouble negotiating with networks and securing rights to local stations. Perhaps now that DirecTV and Hulu are in the market, Apple will reconsider its plans, but for now the company continues to tout the tvOS App Store.