All the top streaming services will now offer offline access to selected content, it seems. Following Netflix and Amazon, Hulu’s CEO Mike Hopkins has confirmed that it will offer users the ability to download content to their devices in a matter of months. The company is currently working on the technology and the rights to make the feature possible, Hopkins said.
The tease about downloads was mentioned briefly in a longer interview with the CEO in AdWeek, which focused on a variety of topics, including the forthcoming live TV service, the larger competitive landscape, Hulu’s programming, and other features, including Hulu’s cloud DVR and the recently launched user profiles, among other things.
Asked if Hulu had any plans to offer downloads, Hopkins simply said:
Yes, it’s definitely on our road map. It’s something that we’re going be doing in a few months. We’re working hard on the technology around that and getting the rights squared away.
Hulu would be the third major streaming service to make downloads possible, though how it will implement the feature remains unclear.
Amazon led this space, having first introduced the ability to download videos from its service to iOS and Android devices back in 2015. Many of shows it made available for offline viewing at the time were its own originals, like Bosch, Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Wishenpoof!, Tumble Leaf and Creative Galaxy, for example. But Amazon also offered the feature for a number of other popular titles, thanks to deals with HBO, Fox, CBS, MGM, Paramount, and others.
Netflix took its time catching up to Amazon, and only rolled out downloads this past November. Unlike Amazon, Netflix didn’t forge rights deals with third parties at launch. Instead, only its original content is included, like Orange is The New Black, Narcos and The Crown. However, Netflix has a vast slate of originals these days, so the feature is still useful.
We don’t expect Hulu to confirm any details around its own plans for offline access until its own deals are signed, however. Stay tuned.