In the battle of the streaming media titans, Hulu has long been struggling to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime. The company announced several new features and updates, along with the renewal of their most popular original show, The Handmaid’s Tale. But will it be enough to continuing growing their customer base?
Manage Your Suggestions
One feature that’s been missing from Hulu is the ability to stop the site from suggesting you watch shows that you’re not interested in viewing. After the twentieth time the streaming service helpfully recommends you check out the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlburg movie Daddy’s Home, you just want it go away.
“We want you to be in control of the experience. If you don’t like something, you should be able to tell us,” said Hulu’s Head of Experience, Ben Smith. With that in mind, you will soon be able to choose “Stop Suggesting” whenever Hulu offers up a show or movie you don’t want to see. The button will be underneath the suggested content.
New Original Series
Hulu’s original content has lagged behind their competitors, but the company hopes that their new slate of projects will change that. In addition to securing an exclusive agreement with DreamWorks Animation to stream their feature films, Hulu will also be premiering several new prestige series this season.
George Clooney will be bringing Joseph Heller’s mind-bending war novel Catch-22 to the small screen, while Mindy Kaling will be producing a comedy series based on the 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral. Blumhouse, the studio that brought us The Purge, Split, and Get Out, will be dipping its toe into television with a one-hour horror anthology called Into The Dark, which will roll out a new episode on the first Friday of each month beginning in October.
Other streaming services have offered offline viewing for a while, but Hulu is doing it in a slightly different way. Subscribers will be able to download content for future viewing, but there’s a catch—if you don’t have a premium commercial-free membership, you’ll be forced to sit through ads. Hulu will be the first streaming platform to package commercials with downloaded content, and since the ads can’t be skipped, advertisers can be confident that their message is being seen.
That’s good news for the company and its advertisers, but slightly less good news for viewers. Only time will tell how much pushback Hulu will get from its downloadable ad-supported content, but if it works, you can expect to see other streaming services trying something similar.