Hulu Plus has made its way to Android, which could be key in its competition with other players like Netflix, who also recently launched Android support.
Like Netflix, however, Android support doesn’t mean availability for all Android devices. Only certain smartphone models work, but also like Netflix, Hulu promises to expand upon that number of devices.
On Hulu’s blog, Director of Product Management Rob Wong writes:
We’ve always said our mission is to provide the world’s premium content to people when, how and where they want it. And we know that a lot of people want that content on their Android smartphones. We’ve been working hard to make that a reality, and today, we have begun our early rollout of theHulu Plus application on Android smartphones.
With the first phase of the Android rollout, Hulu Plus is available on six phones, including the Nexus One, Nexus S, HTC Inspire 4G, Motorola Droid II, Motorola Droid X, and the Motorola Atrix. We expect to add to the number of Android smartphones and will be making additional device announcements throughout the year.
The free Hulu Plus app is available for download from Android Market, and once installed, Hulu Plus subscribers will be able to enjoy the service on the go. As always, Hulu Plus offers new subscribers one free week to try the service.
Netflix has talked in the past about why they couldn’t must push out an Android app that works on everything.
“We regard Android as an exciting technology that drives a range of great devices that our members could use to instantly watch TV shows and movies from Netflix,” explained Netflix’s Greg Peters late last year. “We are eager to launch on these devices and are disappointed that we haven’t been able to do so already. The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android. The same security issues that have led to piracy concerns on the Android platform have made it difficult for us to secure a common Digital Rights Management (DRM) system on these devices. Setting aside the debate around the value of content protection and DRM, they are requirements we must fulfill in order to obtain content from major studios for our subscribers to enjoy. Although we don’t have a common platform security mechanism and DRM, we are able to work with individual handset manufacturers to add content protection to their devices. Unfortunately, this is a much slower approach and leads to a fragmented experience on Android, in which some handsets will have access to Netflix and others won’t.”
I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that Hulu has had similar issues.
Besides select Android devices, Hulu Plus is also available for iOS devices, Xbox 360, Sony PS3, Roku’s streaming player, various TVs and Blu-Ray players from Samsung, Sony, Vizio, Panasonic, LG, and Haier, WD TV media players, TiVo Premiere, and of course PCs.