Anybody In There? Hulu Joins Chromecast's Private Party
Hulu’s arrival is good news for the platform, of course. It coincides well with the fall TV season and people scrambling to catch up on missed episodes. Hulu Plus subscribers have access to extremely recent TV content as well as some of the deepest dives into full series archives imaginable. I admit that I love TV, including old TV. I am just as happy watching an old episode of “Car 54 Where Are You” or “Dobie Gillis,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” or “Your Show of Shows” as I am just about anything on now. But for some reason I am among the many who are more willing to pony up a monthly fee to access Netflix than I am to buy into a deep TV archive. Don’t know why that is exactly, except perhaps we don’t want to admit we love TV enough to subscribe to its museum.
But the arrival of Hulu on Chromecast does beg the question of why it is so lonely on the platform all these months after launch. Other than Netflix, YouTube and Google Play rentals, nothing new has appeared.
ReadWrite has an excellent look at the problem. They find that Google seems to be keeping its SDK in “developer preview,” allowing video providers to play around and test the app-based video redistribution platform but not release anything publicly yet. Adrianna Lee reels off the litany of publishers ready to support Chromecast, including all the major networks to HBO Go, Pandora, Vevo and other that have shown up long ago on rival OTT systems. Lee speculates that Google is a bit gun shy after the Google TV debacle, as well as many other companies who tried and failed to get into the TV ecosystem.
Understood -- but why did they release the hardware just to let the content sit for months at its current low level? I am not so sure Google’s traditional trickle approach to development is fitting for the TV world.
Meanwhile, Apple has been adding new TV services to Apple TV almost monthly now. Sky, Vevo, and HBO Go in particular have ratcheted up the utility of the platform in our house. There are rumors that a new Apple TV box could be coming, perhaps signaling a next bigger step in whatever the hell Apple is up to in its mysterious TV master plan…if there is one. Or maybe these two companies are having a staring contest.