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Why isn’t Hulu available on Google TV?

Posted by Kyle Souza March - 31 - 2012

The second most often asked question about Google TV that I get/see is “Why can’t I watch Hulu on Google TV?”.  In short it is because Hulu doesn’t let you.  It is up to content providers and distribution networks, such as Hulu, to allow their content to be played.  The advantage Hulu has over Netflix and Crackle is clear, current shows.  Hulu’s ownership is largely comprised of television networks, which gives them easy access to new content, and makes their answers to my questions seem kind of lame.

Here are the usual of questions that get asked:
1.  How come I can’t watch Hulu content on Google TV?
2.  Why can I not view Hulu videos in the Chrome Browser on Google TV, but I can in the Chrome Browser of my desktop, which could be hooked-up to my TV?
3.  Why not make a Hulu Plus app available on Google TV like you have for Xbox, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Roku players, Tivo, RCA Media Players, WD Media Players, Netgrear Media Players, Funai Streaming Players, iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, Amazon Kindle Fire   , Nook Tablet, select Android phones and tablets, and VIZIO, Sony BRAVIA, LG, Panasonic, Sharp, Samsung, Toshiba, and Dynex TVs and Blu-ray players?

And here are the answers:

Message 1:

Ryan B., Feb 27 08:50 pm (PST):

Hi Kyle,

Thanks for getting in touch with us. There aren’t any announced plans for Google TV support just yet, but we’d love to add Hulu Plus to it in the future. Lots of folks ask us about it, so we definitely know there’s a demand.

Before we can support Google TV, however, we need to obtain a specific set of streaming rights for our content. In addition, we also need agreements in place with our content providers, hardware manufacturers, and Google itself.

While there’s no official news, if or when Google TV support is announced, you’ll see it at ( www.hulu.com/plus/devices ).

If there’s anything else I can address for you, please let me know.

Thanks,
Ryan B.
Hulu Support

 

Message 2:

Shirley, Mar 05 06:35 pm (PST):

Hi Kyle,

Thanks for writing. No, with Hulu Plus, you wouldn’t be able to stream videos through the Google TV browser. In order to stream on Google TV, this would require an application to be developed and a specific set of streaming rights for our content. In addition, we also need agreements in place with our content providers, hardware manufacturers, and Google itself.

While there’s no official news, if or when Google TV support is announced, you’ll see it at ( www.hulu.com/plus/devices ).

If there’s anything else I can address for you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Regards,
Shirley
Hulu Support

 

Message 3:

Justice, Mar 20 01:16 pm (PDT):

Hi Kyle,

Thanks for getting in touch with us. We don’t support Google TV at the moment, but we’d love to add Hulu Plus to it in the future. Lots of folks ask us about it, so we definitely know there’s a demand.

Before we can support Google TV, however, we need to obtain a specific set of streaming rights for our content. In addition, we also need agreements in place with our content providers, hardware manufacturers, and Google itself.

While there’s no official news, if or when Google TV support is announced, you’ll see it at ( www.hulu.com/plus/devices ).

If there’s anything else I can address for you, please let me know.

Thanks,
Justice
Hulu Support

What do you think of their answers?
If you do a quick search online you will see that rooting your device or side loading apps gives you flexibility, and you can do certain things to “trick” the Hulu website into letting you watch its content.  You can also use a local streaming service such as PlayOn to watch Hulu content (for now, they could block this if they wanted too).  But I would much prefer things to just work.
To voice your opinion email support@hulu.com.

6 Responses so far.

  1. Bryan says:

    Cool deal the sir. Nice that you received 3 answers from hulu.

    • Bob says:

      Yeah, three boiler-plated, stock answers which effectively negates them as being anything but the typical company-line bullshit.

  2. Ken says:

    That statement about “an agreement with Google itself” makes me think Hulu is looking to extort a payment from Google before supporting Google TV.

  3. Jeff says:

    It’s pretty clear that HULU is actually still sorting out a business model by which it can make money. They appear to be trying:
    A) Give hardware vendors Hulu+ support for free (how else do you explain its proliferation to every device you can connect to a TV?) But that lets Hulu make money on subscriptions to end users
    B) Sell ads on HULU. I don’t see this as a widely profitable model – the exposure is too limited. Pretty sure this is just a way to ease the pain of giving away shows for free on Hulu. I know they are doing more and longer ads – maybe that model will support giving away Hulu. But I doubt it makes nearly as much money per end user as selling them a $5/mo subscription.
    C) Charge the hardware manufacturers for access to Hulu. Well, that seems like a long shot, for a lot of reasons. But I’m guessing Hulu would consider it (again, they really want recurring revenue – that’s the smart money play) but would probably want both a big up-front fee and pretty good royalty on every device sold. They’d have to make up that loss of a $5/mo subscription. Good luck getting that from Google!

    My conclusion is that Hulu is really just a marketing play to get Hulu+ subscribers. And that marketing play will only continue as long as the Hulu+ conversion rate proves out that marketing strategy. Or B) some miracle happens and Hulu ad revenues provide a similar or acceptable ROI as compared to tradition TV.

    But hey, what do I know?!

    • Kyle Souza says:

      Good thoughts, and thank you for keeping the conversation going.
      Hulu isn’t on every device you can connect to a TV, it isn’t on Google TV yet.
      I think ad revenue should be enough. Personally I think it is a better business model that subscribers, but what do I know?
      I don’t think most hardware providers will pay millions just to allow people to have the opportunity to pay Hulu for Hulu+ on thier devices.

  4. Gunder William says:

    Great article Kyle. For those who live outside US like me, you can access Hulu and similar media stations on your Google TV by using UnoTelly or similar tools.



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