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Hulu CEO promises offline viewing in coming months as iOS app gets user profiles

Not to be outdone by Netflix, Hulu will be adding support for downloads in the near future, according to the the head of the video streaming service. On Wednesday, meanwhile, the company's iOS app gained support for user profiles, better accommodating the tastes of couples and families.




The download feature will arrive "in a few months," Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said to Adweek. The company is allegedly "working hard on the technology," as well as on securing content rights. Download rights are typically separate from streaming with online services, and must be negotiated that way.

Netflix enabled downloads in November, a long-demanded feature that contributed to the iOS client briefly becoming the top-grossing iPhone app. The option can be important for travelers venturing out of network range, or simply people worried about bandwidth and/or data caps on cellular connections.

Hulu's implementation is likely to be just as sporadic however, owing to rights issues. Netflix, for example, doesn't support downloads for Disney shows.

The addition of user profiles to the Hulu iOS app lets couples and families maintain separate Watchlists, recommendations, and histories, as well as create restricted profiles for kids without potentially offensive or frightening video suggestions. In fact, kids are unable to access recommendations, or even search, Watchlist, and auto-resume functions.

Up to six profiles can be created, but due to licensing terms only one can be streaming at any given time. Netflix allows multiple profiles to stream simultaneously so long as the host account is multi-screen.