Hulu to finally offer offline viewing on iPhones & iPads within next year
Catching up with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Hulu will enable offline video caching sometime within the next year, the company revealed at a Wednesday event in New York City.
In a twist, subscribers on the Limited Commercials plan will have to download ads at the same time, according to TechCrunch. No other video streaming service requires people to watch ads when offline, and customers won't be able to fast-forward through them.
The Limited Commercials plan is $7.99 per month though, whereas No Commercials is $11.99, and the full Hulu package with live TV is $39.99. Hulu is also the preferred service of major networks like Fox and NBC, making it the only place some content is consistently available, even excluding original shows like "The Handmaid's Tale."
Advertising metrics will be tracked using Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings.
Offline caching is often an extremely important feature for streaming subscribers, since people watching on mobile devices like iPhones may need it for traveling, poor cellular connections, or avoiding data caps. Many iPad owners have Wi-Fi-only models and may not otherwise be able to watch video away from home.
Apple is working on its own slate of original TV shows, expected to premiere in 2019. These include things like an adapation of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" novels, a reboot of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories," and a sketch comedy show with Kristin Wiig.
What remains in the dark is how Apple plans to broadcast. Unlike "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke," they're expected to be available outside of Apple Music. One rumor is that they will be available on every iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV through the company's "TV" app.