Netflix Battle Escalates as Hulu Plus Moves To TiVo, Roku
Hulu is making strong competitive moves against Netflix with its Hulu Plus service. The company inked deals to deliver its content to TiVo and Roku boxes. The service will debut on both platforms in the coming months.
"This is a game changer. This shows that the media landscape is not going to be the same with regard to Internet delivery to TV sets," said Richard Doherty, senior analyst at Envisioneering Group. "We are way beyond people getting Internet TV for YouTube and Flickr."
Driving Hulu Forward
Indeed, Hulu Plus offers one of the largest online catalogs of current TV shows available for streaming, including every episode of more than 45 hit programs like Grey's Anatomy, Family Guy, and The Office and classic series like Law and Order: SVU, The X-Files, and Miami Vice.
Pete Distad, vice president of content distribution at Hulu, said the company's goal with Hulu Plus is to provide as much consumer choice as possible. He added, "Hulu Plus on TiVo's Premiere DVR offering is a compelling way for us to drive our mission forward."
Hulu Plus also adds a new dimension to TiVo. Tara Maitra, vice president and general manager of content services and ad sales at TiVo, said, "Adding Hulu Plus to TiVo's content offering was really the key missing piece to the programming portfolio that TiVo needed in order to deliver a truly comprehensive advanced television offering on the market today."
Hulu Plus is a few steps behind Netflix in platforms. The Netflix service is already streaming on both TiVo and Roku. A Netflix subscription costs a dollar less each month than the Hulu Plus offering, but Hulu Plus has a larger catalog of current television shows. Netflix is fighting back with premium cable content that Hulu Plus doesn't offer, at least not yet.
Meanwhile, Apple TV is looming around the corner. And there is also a threat from Google TV. In March, Google announced the Apple TV competitor that promises to deliver all the shows you normally watch on all the web sites you browse all day. But Apple TV fought back in September with a $99 box that lets viewers watch HD movies and TV shows on a rental basis.
Hulu's challenge will be both to expand its content and to expand the platforms on which it offers its subscription service even as new competitors emerge. Doherty expects Hulu Plus to expand slowly.
"Hulu Plus has been by invitation-only until now," he said. "If 10 million people suddenly subscribe, they wouldn't be able to serve them. So they are expanding as quickly as they can and I'm sure we will see new platforms introduced between now and CES."
Posted: 2010-09-29 @ 4:31pm PT
Roku rocks! Please check out 50 Speeches and 50 Places apps on Roku and if you get a chance please rate them. Thanks!
Posted: 2010-09-29 @ 1:01pm PT
As long as I can get to all these services from one device, I don't care. If these companies think people will buy multiple devices to access different content services, they're out of their mind!