Hulu’s decision to package short clips for free on mobile is a smart move for the internet TV giant. It serves as a highlight of last night’s TV action, is appropriate for the “snackable” nature of mobile and will serve to convert users to paid subscriptions. With mobile video viewers increasing from 63.7 million to 74.4 million over the last year according to eMarketer, Hulu is well positioned to capitalize on the growth.
Viacom has tentatively agreed to let its popular cable channels be carried by Sony’s new Internet TV service, according to an article in the New York Times. The deal – between a major programmer and a technology company – is one of the first of its kind, and is a reaction to consumer attention shifting online. That said, the paid package will likely be bundled in the same way as TV so the online streaming won’t be too much of a gamechanger in the end. Intel and Google are reportedly working on similar services, but for now it looks like Sony and Viacom are leading the charge.
One of the major downsides to advanced TV platforms has been the lack of live programming, specifically around sports games and other tentpole events like the Oscars. The real-time nature of these programs is paramount and is often not available from players like Roku or Xbox. Yet, recent news indicates that this may no longer be the case.
HBO Go has announced that they will offer live sports streaming by the year end. HBO Go has already been a colossal success and this new feature would likely make it an even more attractive offer. Currently, live streaming has been offered by cable networks for large events like NBC Olympic coverage, but HBO and others providers are expanding this online model to more regular programming as well.