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Hulu on the iPad? Think app, not portal


Watching TV on the iPad is a pleasure. More and more providers are coming on board, too, like ABC and CBS. Many of us are eager for a mobile solution from Hulu. Back in January, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar told Gigaom, "We will embrace any device...We are very big believers in mobile and we don't think about (just) one device only."

Then in April, The New York Times reported that a Hulu app was in development without giving any details.

This week, Eugene Wei, vice president of product at Hulu, discussed HTML 5 on the company's blog in an aside to the introduction of Hulu's new UI. The short version of his message is that Hulu can't implement it for now. "[HTML 5] doesn't yet meet all of our customers' needs," Wei writes.

He goes on to note that the Hulu player does more than just stream video; it must also report statistics to advertisers, secure the company's content, communicate buffer information and more -- tasks that Flash is simply better at performing. At least for now. "Not all video sites have these needs," he adds, "but for our business these are all important and often contractual requirements."

Compare these statements with the rumors of a forthcoming solution for the iPad and we can assume that an app much like the ABC player is likely. The ABC player, which I love, streams ad-supported episodes of the network's daytime and prime time shows for free. Rumors suggest that Hulu will introduce a paid subscription with their app; some suggest that it will run customers between 9 and 10 dollars a month. Good luck with that, Hulu.

TV on the ultra-portable iPad is one of its selling points. I'm so accustomed to seeing ads interspersed with programming that I don't mind it on my mobile devices. But asking me to pay for something I've already paid for (cable bill) is silly. Here's hoping Hulu reconsiders.

[via Business Insider, H/T to Switched]

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