Hulu Plus deals with Android fragmentation amidst hunt for a buyer

Jun 23, 2011
TV and Movies

Hulu Plus has hit Android phones, but the premium video service is limited in device support. Introducing Hulu Plus to only six higher-end Android devices, the majority of Android handset owners will have to wait to get the app on their phones too. Hulu Plus will be available on the Nexus One, Nexus S, HTC Inspire 4G, and Motoroloa’s Droid II, Droid X and Atrix. While free to download, you’ll have to pay an $8 monthly subscription after your week-long trial is up. From there, you can access TV shows and movies on-demand.

Considering how long it took for Hulu to launch its premium app in the Android Market, you may think that they’d have enough time to address fragmentation issues. But Android’s vast array of devices has troubled all the top premium video service providers, stretching the Netflix app launch and limiting the devices it supports as well. The fragmentation with Android’s OS is especially rampant on tablets, omitting them from getting Hulu Plus at all. When dedicated big brands like Hulu can’t figure an Android tablet strategy because of fragmentation, it ultimately hurts Android’s ecosystem, which is still struggling to develop a viable marketplace specific to tablets.

But Hulu’s iPad users are affected by iOS restrictions, too. Complying with Apple’s subscription policy on iOS devices, Hulu has removed the sign-up web link from its iPad app, forcing them to open a web browser on their own for registration. It’s a move against Apple, which takes a 30 percent cut of subscriptions sold directly within iOS apps. While Hulu worked around this with a link sending you to their website to complete the registration process, Apple’s cracked down on their recently-implemented rules. In the midst of Hulu seeking a buyer, the content delivery service faces a series of mutually exclusive battles in its mobile distribution strategy.

Transformers comics collection on Android

In other entertainment news, comiXology and IDW Publishing have teamed up to launch a Transformers comic collection on Android. Designed as an interactive comic book, the reader will highlight over 200 Transformers comics in the app. Available through the Comics Android app today, the launch comes days after the comic app maker hit the one million download mark on Android’s platform. As Transformers 3 hits theaters for another summer blockbuster, comiXology’s timing couldn’t be better.

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