Hulu Is Not Working On HTML5 Player For iPad, iPhone
Some bad news for Hulu fans. The the second largest video service in the US may not come to the iPhone or iPad anytime soon.
But in a blog post, while releasing its brand new video player, the company has revealed that it is not planning to replace Adobe Flash with HTML5 for its video player.
Eugene Wei, VP of Product at Hulu writes:
"We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs. Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren’t necessarily visible to the end user. Not all video sites have these needs, but for our business these are all important and often contractual requirements."
Speculation over the development of an iPad-friendly version of Hulu has been doing the rounds since February of this year. The new platform was expected to be rolled-out in time for the iPad launch. There were further rumors that Hulu may be offered as a paid subcription service for iPad users. The iPad was later speculated to serve as a "testing ground" ahead of the roll-out of Hulu Plus premium subscription service across all platforms. Eugene Wei's statements have thus put these speculations to rest.
However, this does not rule out a launch of an iPhone or iPad app in the future. With over a million iPads already sold in the US market, Hulu may be losing out on a significant chunk of its audience by not catering to the iPad users; a majority of whom use the iPad as a media consumption device. A confirmation from Hulu in this regard is still awaited.
Though Hulu's decision may come as a disappointment to iPad users, it is not entirely surprising. Online ads are a major source of revenue to Hulu. However, as noted earlier, the HTML5 version of the site may not support these ads. This was probably the major factor behind Hulu's decision.
It's a pity as we have been eagerly waiting to watch our favorite TV show on the iPhone and iPad.
[via Silicon Alley Insider]
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