Hulu to offer free ad-supported viewing on iPhone, iPad this summer
Popular video streaming service Hulu, which currently requires users to subscribe to its "Plus" service to view content on their iPhone or iPad, will begin offering free viewing of select ad-supported programming on mobile devices this summer.
The company's plans were announced on its official blog on Wednesday, where it revealed that some full TV episodes will be viewable on devices like Apple's iPhone and iPad. Hulu also revealed that it will launch the next generation of its Hulu Plus application for iPhone later in the summer.
Hulu's plans for ad-supported free viewing are apparently limited to "mobile devices," which would suggest that the free streaming content will not make its way to Hulu's official Apple TV channel.
To date, Hulu's iOS applications have required a paid Hulu Plus subscription in order to view content. Some of that content has, however, been available to view for free on Hulu's website for desktop users on Mac or PC.
Hulu also announced Wednesday that its Plus subscription service, which costs $7.99 per month, has surpassed 6 million subscribers. In addition to rebroadcasting cable and network TV programs, Hulu also offers subscribers its own original content, including "Deadbeat," "Moone Boy," "The Awesomes," "Quick Draw," and the Sports Emmy-nominated series "Behind the Mask."
Hulu has more than 1,700 advertisers, and it plans to roll out new ways for companies to reach its customer base. Accordingly, three new "ad innovations" were also announced on Wednesday: in-stream purchasing, which will debut later this year with Pizza Hut as a launch partner; cross-platform interactive ads optimized for a user's current viewing device; and "Hulu 360 Ad," which will target mobile users with advertisements that go "beyond the traditional video ad."