The streaming game is more competitive than ever with a whole bunch of new high-profile services debuting in the not-too-distant future. Hulu was one of the first streaming services on the scene, and it's finally giving subscribers something they've been waiting for and may just keep them shelling out the monthly fee for access. Hulu has finally added downloads for offline mobile viewing.
Yes, Hulu subscribers will be able to enjoy one of the perks that made Netflix so convenient for streaming content even without a wifi or data internet connection, although Netflix dragged its heels in making that offer available. Users who subscriber to the no-commercials Hulu plan for the price of $11.99 per month can download thousands of shows and movies, ranging from originals like The Handmaid's Tale to past seasons of hit shows like This Is Us, Family Guy, and ER.
Unfortunately, the option to download for offline viewing is not available for subscribers who have chosen the $5.99/month package, which includes ads. Also, not every mobile device will be able to download Hulu content for offline streaming right away. The download option did launch on Monday, October 7, but only for iOS devices like iPhones and iPads. Hulu has clarified that downloads "will be coming to Android users soon," although no specific date has been announced.
So, what kind of limits will there be on downloading content from Hulu? Not too many, actually. Subscribers can download up to 25 titles across five different devices, which is ideal both for people who use different devices at different points and for those who share accounts. The content will remain downloaded for up to 30 days, or expire two days after a download begins playback on a device.
An expiration isn't the end of the world, unless it's a series that will no longer be available on Hulu. After a title expires, subscribers can simply download that content again. Basically, the new Hulu option is pretty much the same as what Netflix adopted a few years ago, but it definitely offers content that isn't available on Netflix. Amazon Prime offers downloading for offline viewing as well, although with more limited options than Netflix and now Hulu.
Not all titles will be available for download, even if they are available streaming on Hulu. Still, it shouldn't be complicated for users to figure out as long as they have an iOS device for the time being. Offline streaming can be ideal for many things, and I particularly have enjoyed the Netflix option while traveling. What better way to pass the time on a long flight than with episodes of The Great British Baking Show?
Well, now maybe episodes of The Handmaid's Tale and other Hulu options will fit the bill. With services like Disney+, Apple TV+, and NBCUniversal's Peacock (which is costing Netflix a whole lot of shows), Hulu made a big move to make itself even more attractive to cord cutters who prefer to stream their entertainment over traditional cable. Will it be enough to keep Hulu competitive moving forward?
Only time will tell. For now, swing by our 2019 fall TV premiere schedule to see what's coming to Hulu in the not-too-distant future, as well as to Netflix, broadcast networks, and more. One spooky highlight that will jam-packed with Stephen King references is Castle Rock Season 2, debuting in a few weeks.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).