Hulu Plus is a monthly subscription service launched sometime in 2010. It follows on the free and mobile version to Hulu, which is available on the desktop to subscribers based in the United States (and Japan). Hulu is of course, a joint venture among some of the biggest names in US broadcasting -- NBC Universal, Fox and Disney-ABC. The service makes its money from not just user subscriptions (US7.99 a month) but also streaming advertising videos. This model works the same on the mobile version that is Hulu Plus.
Hulu Plus is available on Apple TV, network-enabled Blu-ray players, TiVo DVR boxes, selected smart TVs, iOS, Android, Windows RT or Windows 8 devices, game consoles, including the Wii, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Oh, it's also available on the Roku streaming player and WD TV Media Player (US versions). You can see the full list of supported devices here.
So unlike HBO GO, which is commercial-free and caters only to HBO and Cinemax programming, Hulu Plus covers a plethora of content from the three major television networks and other networks, such as SyFy, Bravo, FX, Style, Sundance, E!, G4, A&E and Onion News Network. Shows include talk shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to dramas like CSI, Revolution, Grey's Anatomy, to comedies like Modern Family, The Office, to a plethora of anime, documentaries and movies (My Sassy Girl and Pulp Fiction being two we noticed). We're not going to bore you with the extremely long list but you can browse them here. Similar to HBO GO, most of the shows are same day telecast, meaning the show hits the mobile editions on the same day as broadcast TV.
Hulu also produced some of its own original programs, and occasionally make them exclusive on either the free desktop version of Hulu.com or on the mobile version Hulu Plus, or both. Just a sidetrack, following in the footsteps of Hulu, NetFlix, another popular and competing US-based TV drama and movie viewing service and app, produced several great dramas recently, including House of Cards, which starred Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. So a point to note here is that there seems to be a movement by these services to create and produce their own original content exclusive only to these platforms and services.
Of course, the big difference between HBO GO and Hulu Plus is that the latter comes with forced, in-your-face 8-12 second full-screen commercials. Hey, somebody has to pay the bills (considering that US subscribers only pay US$7.99 a month for a plethora of content).
So there you have them. Three different mobile entertainment apps we sincerely hope would follow in the footsteps of Spotify and see the light of day on our shores. We're pretty certain that people would pay to watch these programs, especially on HBO GO and Hulu Plus. It's just a matter of getting the restrictions, regulations and licensing negotiated and resolved out of the way. Ultimately, besides games on the mobile platform, we believe that these entertainment apps demonstrate the full potential of what a mobile device can do. Not only do they entertain you on the move, they enhance your lifestyle and unshackle you from what's wired and four-walled.
The best part is that they save you storage space, both digitally and physically. Fingers crossed then, from all of us.