This is a big step forward for Hulu, which had previously limited non-paying mobile users to clips of shows rather than the library of free content that is available to desktop users.
Hulu is different from competitors like Netflix or Amazon Prime, in that almost all of its content — even much of what’s on Hulu Plus — is broken up by advertising breaks. This allows the company to make a number of shows available for streaming to anyone, but it also means Hulu was missing out on ad revenue from non-paying users who can’t access these shows on their mobile devices.
Android users will be the first to get access to free content when it rolls out this summer, followed by iOS users.
OTHER HULU ANNOUNCEMENTS:
The company said today that it will soon be offering advertisers what it calls an “In-Stream Purchase Unit,” that allows Hulu users to make purchases and place orders directly from within Hulu. The first partner to try this will be Pizza Hut, meaning users can order up a pie while catching up on Hannibal, without having to leave Hulu to do so.
Hulu is also continuing to talk to cable operators about getting the service integrated into set-top boxes. It’s already a fixture on most web-connected streaming devices like Roku, Chromecast and Amazon’s new Fire TV.