While Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins fulfilled his promise that the service would stay "under $40", those wanting the most out of their cable-cutting will still have to pay a little extra. "It's a natural extension of our business, and an exciting new chapter for Hulu".
In addition, Hulu will become the exclusive subscription streaming home to NBC's hit primetime drama "This Is Us", senior VP and head of content Craig Erwich announced. That deal brought in channels including HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network. The good news is that major broadcasters like ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX are all on board.
Hulu reached a deal with NBC Universal earlier in the week that would add channels such as USA, Telemundo, SyFy, Bravo, E! and MSNBC to its live channel rolodex, the Hollywood Reporter reports. The latest player to throw its hat in the ring is Hulu, which today is launching the beta for its "Hulu with Live TV" service. It's now available on Android, iOS, Xbox One, and Chromecast. But it now puts Hulu in direct competition with the cable, satellite and telco TV distributors that are its parent companies' biggest customers.
Users can watch Hulu with Live TV on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, along with the fourth-generation Apple TV and the Xbox One.
The service has grown its own programming to include The Mindy Project, 11.22.63, The Path and new series The Handmaid's Tale, while also providing current broadcast shows such as The Voice, Empire and Scandal (new episodes usually go live a few hours after broadcast, at about 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT) and a library of other TV series such as Seinfeld and South Park and movies.
The live TV service is now in beta, but available to all customers who want to subscribe. It also involves flipping through more tabs.
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One nifty feature: Sports fans can follow their favorite major pro and college teams - and Hulu will find and record those games live (subject to availability).
Hulu also unveiled a makeover for its user interface with improved recommendations and a Kids Mode, which gives children browsing capabilities of only kid-friendly shows.
And of course there are mods to that baseline package. Also, Hulu will offer advertisers the ability to update their spots in DVR recordings dynamically, regardless of when the show was recorded, senior VP of ad sales Peter Naylor said.
Want to know more about video and TV market trends? Subscribers to the new live service also get 50 hours of storage for recording programming, the ability to create up to six separate Hulu viewer profiles, and two simultaneous streams per account. If you want unlimited streams inside your house, and up to three outside, you can get that for an extra $14.99 per month. Lastly, for those wondering, the live television service is only available on Xbox One, not PlayStation 4. Support for Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Samsung Smart TVs are planned for the future.
Per Hulu, the service is now running at about 47 million viewers, and 32 million watch the ad-supported content. Hulu also added that the company will make two minutes of local commercial breaks for each hour available to advertisers who would like to gain access to that viewership base.
New subscribers can sign in on any device and start watching live TV immediately, and existing subscribers can sign in and import their Watchlist so they can access that content and live TV streams side by side.