Enlarge / The Handmaid’s Story, a Hulu unique sequence.

Hulu will quickly be part of Amazon Prime and Netflix in permitting you to obtain TV episodes to your cellular gadgets and watch them whereas offline.

The brand new characteristic is a boon for frequent air vacationers, public transit riders, and others who spend time separated from speedy Web connections. Hulu made the bulletins on the upfronts, occasions wherein TV broadcasters pitch upcoming programming mainly to advertisers but additionally to the press.

As famous, Netflix and Amazon additionally supply this characteristic. Nevertheless, Hulu would be the first to supply it in an ad-supported tier. Those that pay for Hulu’s $11.99/mo ad-free subscription can have the identical ad-free expertise as they might on Netflix and Amazon. However subscribers to the $7.99/mo ad-supported tier will really obtain the advertisements proper alongside the first content material, they usually’ll play through the episodes the identical manner they might on the Net or on set-top streaming packing containers.

Hulu claims to be the primary firm within the TV enterprise to supply downloadable advertisements.

Promoting is essential for Hulu as a result of—in contrast to Amazon and Netflix, which create their very own streaming-specific content material or license broadcast content material lengthy after it has aired—Hulu streams the identical broadcast TV reveals you see on networks like NBC or ABC—often the day after air. For these reveals, broadcast TV advertisements nonetheless account for the majority of the income, and streaming advertisements are offered alongside the rather more beneficial broadcast advert buys in lots of instances.

Hulu is partially owned by these broadcast networks. The Walt Disney firm, which owns TV community ABC, owns 30 % of the corporate. 21st Century Fox owns one other 30 %. Comcast (which owns NBC Common, which in flip owns the NBC broadcast community) owns one other 30. The ultimate 10 % belongs to Time Warner through the Turner Broadcasting System, which additionally owns a number of common cable TV channels like Cartoon Community, CNN, TBS, and TNT. The one main community which isn’t invested in Hulu is CBS, which has its personal streaming service known as CBS All Entry. CBS additionally owns The CW, one other main broadcast community.

In a manner, Hulu was an try by these corporations to leap into streaming with out shaking up the enterprise mannequin that has pushed their success because the 1930s and 1940s. So to supply this characteristic, Hulu needed to give you an choice that accounted for advertisements.

Hulu hasn’t stated which reveals and films will probably be out there for offline viewing. Netflix and Amazon at the moment solely supply restricted parts of their libraries. As with these two, you may most likely count on all of Hulu’s unique sequence to be downloadable. The truth that an ad-supported choice is accessible could possibly be a bonus in onboarding extra licensed reveals to the characteristic.

Along with offline viewing, Hulu introduced that it has surpassed 20 million subscribers. The corporate has additionally, as is the primary focus on the upfronts, unveiled its lineup of upcoming unique sequence. The Handmaid’s Story will get a brand new season, and new sequence titled 4 Weddings and a Funeral, Fort Rock (a undertaking from Stephen King and Star Wars: The Drive Awakens director J.J. Abrams), and Catch-22 from George Clooney will hit the service.

Hulu stated the offline-viewing characteristic will launch through the 2018-2019 upfront season.

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