Hulu has done well as a browser-based video destination. So, it’s not surprising to hear (yet again) that the video site is headed to cell phones. An anonymous mobile industry executive says the video service will soon appear on Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch, according to Business Insider.
Oh, and the source also says the forthcoming app is “badass.”
Hulu’s mobile iteration is expected to resemble its browser cousin for streaming prime time content, and will reportedly work over both 3G and WiFi connections. Since Hulu has always positioned itself as a streaming service, it seems unlikely that the app would support downloads. For the 3G set (which makes up the majority of iPhone users), this could open up a new degree of mobility for Hulu and (more importantly) its ad network. After all, if the app fully replicates Hulu’s integrated commercial breaks, then the service could receive a sizable windfall in ad impressions.
But, let’s be fair here — Hulu is hardly first to the punch in the mobile space. Analysts have been predicting online video’s mobile shift for a while now, and players like TV.com, Joost, SlingPlayer, and i.TV have already made their mark (across multiple devices, no less). What’s interesting is that Hulu could still pull ahead. Since its launch, the site has steadily built traffic, and its ever increasing audience will probably transfer smoothly to the mobile platform. Furthermore, the mobile market is surprisingly light on ad-supported mobile TV apps, and the ones that do exist don’t even come close to Hulu’s vast catalog of content. This could tentatively make for a successful recipe — assuming, of course, that any of this rumor holds weight.
We’ve pinged Hulu for comment on the matter, so expect an update just as soon as we hear more.