By Sahil Patel
By and large, if you want to watch Hulu content on a device other than your computer, you’re going to need to buy Hulu Plus. Last year, the company made a slight change that allowed users to watch select clips for free by visiting Hulu’s mobile website. Today, Hulu is releasing an update for its Android app that’s bigger than it might look.
The Hulu app for Android now allows users to watch the latest episodes of popular current TV shows, as well as a selection of content from Hulu’s original programming lineup, kids, movies, and Latino libraries — all for free. With a few exceptions, Hulu says content on the updated app will mirror the ad-supported Hulu.com experience.
Users can still upgrade to Hulu Plus, directly via the app, in order to access the SVOD service’s full catalog.
But by opening more of its content to users who aren’t paying a monthly subscription, the service has the ability to grow its viewership across devices — especially for its originals (like I said they should when they updated the mobile website last year).
No word on if or when this update will roll out to other Hulu apps. This is only available on Android phones and tablets, said a Hulu spokesperson when I asked.
What would be really interesting is if the company did the same for its connected-TV apps. Imagine being able to watch TV content, as well as Hulu’s TV-length originals, on the screen they are best suited for, for free. Hard to see how that doesn’t boost the number of people accessing the streaming platform on a daily basis, whether they’re on-the-go or on their couch.