Spotify and Hulu Team Up to Offer Students a $5/Month Combo Subscription Plan

Streaming companies Spotify and Hulu today announced a new partnership that will allow eligible students to sign up for Spotify Premium for Students at its normal $4.99/month price tag, and gain access to Hulu's Limited Commercials plan at no extra charge. In Hulu's press release, the company said that the offer streamlines two popular services commonly used by busy students into a single subscription plan.


The bundle is available to all qualifying new and existing Spotify student subscribers, immediately offering access to both Spotify Premium's music streaming service and Hulu's basic Limited Commercial, TV-streaming package. Users will also continue to use Spotify and Hulu through each brands' respective apps.
“In bringing Spotify and Hulu together, we’re now able to offer students – both the millions already on Spotify Premium, and those who are new to Spotify – access to the world’s best music, TV and movie content in the simplest possible way,” said Alex Norstrom, Chief Premium Business Officer at Spotify. “We’re very excited to be partnering with Hulu – a like-minded company which is as focused as we are on delivering the very best in high quality streaming content.”

“We are proud to announce Spotify as our newest strategic partner – they’re an iconic brand in music streaming and a proven leader in reaching and engaging young consumers,” said Tim Connolly, SVP, Head of Distribution and Partnerships at Hulu. “By bundling our enormous catalogues of content together in a single, highly compelling offer, we’re making it easier for people to enjoy all of the TV and music they love, whenever and wherever they want.”
According to Hulu, "this is the first step" that each company is taking to bundle their services together, and in the future similar bundles will be targeted "at the broader market" beyond college students. Find out more information on user eligibility for Spotify's student membership right here.

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Hulu’s Live TV Service Now Works in Mac and PC Browsers

Hulu's Live TV service can now be streamed to a Mac or PC using Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and more, Hulu said in an announcement this morning.

With browser support, Mac and PC users can now stream Hulu content directly to their computers in addition to set-top boxes and mobile devices.

To date, we've offered Hulu with Live TV on multiple living room and mobile devices, but we know many of you have asked to access our service on your laptops and computers as well. So rather than wait until we've finalized our new Web experience, we're opening up a basic version to Hulu's live TV plan subscribers so they can stream live TV via their browsers. That means, you can catch the big game, this morning's news or the premiere of "This is Us" wherever you are.
Hulu says development on its web experience is in the early stages, so it's something of a bare bones integration at the current time. Hulu says the Hulu experience on the web will "evolve significantly" over the next few months, gaining features like point, click, and keyboard interactions and responsive pages to fit all screen sizes.

Hulu's full live and on-demand catalog can be watched via a browser with the company's first iteration. Customers can browse and watch live TV, see what's on networks, and search for content.

Hulu Live TV subscribers who want to watch the service using a browser can find more information about how it works on the Hulu website.

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Hulu Merges Live TV App Features into its Core iOS App

Hulu is set to phase out the Live TV app it introduced earlier this year as it condenses its functions into the subscription service's main iOS app, which has received a new lick of paint in the process (via The Verge).

"Heads up! We are saying goodbye to our Hulu with Live TV app so you can have all your TV in one place. We will soon unify the two Hulu apps currently available in the Apple App Store, Hulu with Live TV and Hulu, into one great on-demand and live TV viewing experience."
In an effort to minimize confusion, both the $40-per-month live TV subscription services and the $8-per-month on-demand option will be available in the company's core app. In the meantime, the Hulu with Live TV app now has a splash screen that sends users to the main Hulu app to access its streaming features.

The company says it will continue to regularly update the Hulu app's look and feel, as it attempts to address issues users have had with the new interface, which has adopted the green hues of the service's branding.

The Hulu app is a free download for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link]

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Hulu Gains 3,000 New TV Episodes Through 20th Century Fox Deal

Hulu today announced a new distribution deal with 20th Century Fox, which will see almost 3,000 new episodes of popular Fox dramas and comedies added to Hulu's streaming service.


Hulu has obtained streaming rights to every episode of long-running hits like How I Met Your Mother, Burn Notice, Bones, and Glee, along with all 11 seasons of M*A*S*H and the complete NYPD Blue library. A list of some of the shows coming is below:
Hit Comedies: How I Met Your Mother, Raising Hope, The Bernie Mac Show, Better Off Ted, Reba, Life in Pieces

Long-Running Dramas: NYPD Blue, Bones, Glee, Burn Notice, White Collar, The Practice

Iconic Series: M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues, The Bob Newhart Show

Fan Favorites: Don't Trust the B--in Apartment 23, The Grinder, Blue Collar, Saving Grace, Lie To Me, Graceland

Cult Hits: Dollhouse, Wilfred, The Glades
The deal between Hulu and 20th Century Fox is an expansion of an agreement that has seen Hulu gain shows like Bob's Burgers, American Dad, Futurama, The Cleveland Show, This Is Us, Emptire, Homeland, and more.

According to Hulu, the new titles will be added to the service ofer the course of the coming weeks.

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Hulu Launches Live and On-Demand HBO as $15 Per Month Add-On Option

Hulu today announced that subscribers will now be able to add HBO's programming into their Hulu subscription for $14.99 per month, as well as Cinemax for $9.99 per month (via TechCrunch). Hulu currently offers Showtime for $8.99 per month as an add-on package to the basic streaming service.


HBO will be available as an add-on package for both Hulu's new live TV service (beginning at $39.99 per month) as well as its on-demand streaming tiers ($7.99 per month for limited commercials, $11.99 per month for no commercials). HBO's East Coast and West Coast live feeds will be available, as well as every show and movie in the network's back catalog.


Those interested will be able to access HBO on Hulu's new app for Apple TV, iOS, Xbox One, and Android. Coming soon, additional HBO and Cinemax channels will be added, like HBO 2, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HBO Comedy, HBO Signature HD, HBO Zone, MoreMAX HD, ActionMAX HD, ThrillerMAX HD, MovieMAX HD, 5StarMAX HD and OuterMAX HD.

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‘Hulu With Live TV’ Appears on App Store, Includes FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, and More

Hulu's anticipated live television service, which was rumored in the past few weeks to launch in early May, has quietly appeared on the iOS App Store [Direct Link], although the app doesn't appear ready yet to begin streaming live content. At the time of writing, Hulu with Live TV only supports on-demand content, but the live services could presumably be turned on as early as later today.

Officially named "Hulu with Live TV," the company said that this version of the app comes with Cloud DVR and the ability to stream more than 50 live and on-demand television channels, including sports-related content.


User interface changes include a new onboarding experience, a new home screen, and "My Stuff," so subscribers can manage their shows, movies, networks, and more. A multitasking feature called "Fliptray" will let users watch a show and browse Hulu with Live TV simultaneously.
You’ll enjoy features that help you customize how you watch TV:
- Create up to 6 personalized profiles for the whole household. Enjoy your own collection of shows, movies, networks, and more.
- Track your favorites with My Stuff. Add shows, networks, and movies for quick access across your devices.
- The more you watch, the better it gets. Enjoy a reimagined TV experience that adjusts to your tastes every time you use Hulu.
- Browse while you watch with Fliptray to quickly find what else is on, change the channel, or get recommendations of what to watch next.
At launch, Hulu with Live TV has the following channels that subscribers will be able to watch live once the service is turned on: FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, FX, NBCSN, FS1, History Channel, and TNT. Additionally, sports coverage for pro, college, and regional teams will be on the service, along with national news and local feeds in some cities, kids shows, big events, and on-demand shows and movies from most of the supported channels.

One slight uncertainty is exact pricing for the service, which isn't mentioned anywhere on the app's page or during the user profile set-up process. It's been rumored to cost users around $40 over the past few months, with features like Cloud DVR potentially priced as a $20 add-on.

Those interested can download Hulu with Live TV now from the iOS App Store in the United States [Direct Link]. The app mentions support for the fourth-generation Apple TV as well, but at the time of writing that version hasn't appeared yet on Apple's set-top box. It's clear that the app was added onto the App Store ahead of an official announcement, so we'll update this post once more information becomes available.

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Hulu’s Live TV Service Could Launch in Early May

Hulu's upcoming live streaming television service could launch as soon as early May, reports TechCrunch. Hulu has already confirmed the service will launch in the spring, but has not given a more specific public launch date.

Internally, the company is said to be telling employees that the first week of May is being targeted for launch, but TechCrunch says this is a rolling target date that could shift to later in May if necessary.

Despite the internal communication - which we've seen - claiming the "first week of May" launch, we've also heard that the chatter among employees is that consumers will likely get the service around mid-May. In addition, other sources familiar with Hulu's launch plans have confirmed that mid-May is just as likely as earlier in the month. It could even end up being the third week.

In other words, "mid-May" doesn't translate to a May 15th launch.

However, the month of May - in general - is definitely a go.
The official launch date of the service is perhaps dependent on an ongoing beta testing period that the company is using to garner feedback from users and eliminate bugs.

Rumors suggest Hulu plans to price its upcoming television service at $39.99 per month, with an add-on cloud DVR service that could cost an additional $20 per month for "unlimited" storage capped at 200 hours of programming.

Hulu is said to be planning to allow concurrent devices on up to three devices in the same home, and channels will include content from CBS, 21st Century Fox, ESPN, and Disney. Many details of Hulu's upcoming service remain a mystery, including whether or not the company will offer multiple packages like DirecTV Now, but its TV package is "comparable" to rival services.

Hulu's streaming service will offer a mix of live TV and on-demand content, something that will make the service unique among its peers.

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Hulu’s Live TV Service Will Reportedly Cost $39.99/Month, With $20 Cloud DVR Add-On

Although Hulu's new live TV bundle is set to launch before spring is over, details about the service have been noticeably scant ahead of the its launch. Today, sources speaking with TechCrunch who have knowledge of Hulu's plans have claimed that the new cord-cutting bundle will cost subscribers exactly $39.99 per month, which comes in right under Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins' promise of a bundle that would cost users "under $40" per month.

The price of the service's add-on cloud DVR feature has also been detailed, which will reportedly cost users $20 each month to gain extensive video recording functionality. Subscribers to Hulu's base $39.99 package will have a limited DVR feature (small storage space, no fast-forwarding), but Hulu's alleged $20 DVR add-on package would include "unlimited" storage capped at 200 hours of programming as well as allow for fast-forwarding.

The live TV service will allow for a certain amount of recording and storage space in its base package – a feature that’s quickly becoming a standard offering for these types of businesses. But this recording space will not be a fully functional DVR, as it will not support fast-forwarding.

However, Hulu is considering an add-on package to its live TV service that will include an unlimited DVR with up to 200 hours of programming, as well as unlimited streams. (There may be a cap on concurrent streams outside the home, though – we’ve heard three.)

This add-on bundle will allow users to optionally upgrade their live TV service with the cloud DVR and unlimited streams, and will be priced under $20 per month, sources tell us.
Concurrent streaming on devices in the same home is said to be capped at three, and that number may lessen for users who don't opt-in for the cloud DVR bundle. In total, the Hulu Live TV bundle would cost upwards of $60 on the high-end, which does still come in under most low- to medium-level traditional cable packages. Subscribers currently using Hulu's $7.99/month or $11.99/month (ad-free) on-demand options will simply have to pay the difference of an upgrade to the live TV service when it launches.

Reports about included channels have been circulated in the past -- including CBS and NBC -- but the look of the specific channel bundle that will be on offer, and if there might be more than one tier, remains a mystery. Most packages, like DirecTV Now, give users tiers ranging from $35/month to $70/month to access more channels. In the original rumor, Disney and Fox were floated as potential partners with Hulu's service, and Time Warner's stable of channels will also help bolster the channels available to subscribers.

Although the cord-cutting bundle options have become plentiful in the past few years, ranging from Sling TV to Playstation Vue to DirecTV Now, Hulu's alternative will be interesting as the first to combine live television with exclusive video on-demand options. One of the most important aspects of Hulu's bundle -- its actual launch date -- has yet to be rumored, but the company has until June 20 to debut the service before the end of spring.

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Hulu iOS App Updates With Personalized Profiles for Multiple-User Accounts

In December, Hulu announced a new feature for the streaming service that brought unique user profiles to families who share one account, with personalized profiles offering each user their own Watchlist, viewing history, and recommendations based on their favorite shows. Available at first only on Hulu.com, profiles are now available to all users who have Hulu on their iOS device, through the new version 4.10 update [Direct Link] on Hulu's iOS app (via TechCrunch).

Profiles will keep families organized as well as happy, according to Hulu, since everyone's favorite shows will no longer conflict with content they might not prefer that another member of the family watches frequently. There are also kid-centric accounts that parents can make without having to be concerned about mature content popping up in recommendations.

hulu-profiles-update
Users on single accounts will simply choose their existing name on the app's launch screen to continue watching their shows as normal, while multiple-user accounts can begin adding new family members and friends with the "Add Profile" button.
"Creating individual profiles enables you to keep track of all of your favorite shows and movies regardless of what other viewers in your household watch. Each profile created within the same Hulu account will have its ow personalized Watchlist, recommendations, and viewing history, allowing everyone to get the most out of their Hulu experience. You can also create profiles for your kids, where they can watch kid-friendly content without worrying about mature shows or movies being recommended to them."
There are limitations to user profiles, however, namely that users can still only stream content on one profile at a time, even after creating multiple profiles for each family member. The company said that this is due to various license agreements it has in place with each content creator.

Although it hasn't been updated with mobile steps yet, anyone interested in learning how to create a user profile can follow the steps on Hulu's help website to learn more about the feature on Hulu.com and TV/living room devices.

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Details Emerge for Hulu’s Upcoming Live TV Service on iOS

After partners like CBS and NBC were confirmed to be part of Hulu's upcoming live-streaming TV service, Mashable recently got a glimpse of the early build for the service on both iOS and full-screen TV apps. Hulu has still kept details under wraps regarding specific price points and plans, although Hulu Chief Executive Mike Hopkins said last week that it will cost users "under $40" each month.

The addition of live TV is said to have changed Hulu's "entire user experience," by combining the company's existing on-demand content with the all-new live TV streams. The app guides users through a taste-test quiz about the type of TV they like to watch, using the information and accumulated data of what each user watches to offer recommendations on its home screen. If there are multiple users in a house, each person will get their own menu, recommendations, and everyone can watch their shows at once.

hulu-live-tv-1
If the new Hulu has a philosophy, it's personal, personal, personal. From the home screen to the recommendations it serves up, the new Hulu is intended to be about you. That becomes clear the moment you launch the new app on your phone, which quizzes you on the kind of content you like — genres, networks and specific shows — before you even get to the home screen. Sorta like Foursquare, but for TV.
The "Lineup" greets users when they first dive into their personal profile, and it's said to be "a compilation of the content — live or on-demand — Hulu thinks is most important to you." Favorite shows will take top billing, while shows recorded in a cloud DVR (an expected add-on feature) will also be added to the Lineup.

hulu-live-tv-2
The user interface then splits content into a horizontal list with icons at the top of the screen representing Movies, News and Networks. The Networks tab is where most of Hulu's live content will be housed, with users able to tap on any channel and tune into what's happening now on each station. Mobile notifications will be available to warn users when a game is starting with their favorite team, but the feature will only encompass sports at launch. Notifications for breaking news and warnings about expiring TV shows are being worked on as well.

One of Mashable's concerns about the new service is its attempt at seamlessly mixing Hulu's old content with its new live-streaming options. The site compared the move to when Apple decided to do something similar with both old, downloaded songs and the new streaming content in Apple Music, which confused many users.

The demo I got of Hulu's new UI was canned, so I didn't get a chance to navigate it myself. From the looks of it, Hulu has done a good job of mixing together live and on-demand content into a single interface, although it's questionable if they ever should have been mixed in the first place.

Similarly, when Apple mixed together on-demand music streaming with downloads in Apple Music, it stepped into a minefield. It eventually rolled back the UI to better separate the two things the app does. Will the same thing happen to Hulu?
Curiosity surrounding the new live TV service from Hulu has been building ever since it was rumored last May. As of now, Hulu's cord-cutting service includes partners CBS, Walt Disney, Time Warner, Fox, and NBC. When it launches sometime in the spring, the service will enter the market to competitors including Sling TV and DirecTV Now, but Hulu won't have to worry about competition from Apple's own live-streaming service since it has long been shelved after the company failed to make inroads with network programmers.

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