By: Richard Irving, VP of Product
Summer is just around the corner and we’re just as excited as you are to get outside, enjoy the weather and make the most of your well-deserved time away from school or the office. But with the NBA Playoffs, NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, MLB season, The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 in full effect and the premiere of Hulu Original Castle Rock (we could go on and on… and on!), there is a lot of great TV you won’t want to miss. So just in time for summer, we’re optimizing the Hulu experiences that matter most to you when you’re on-the-go: mobile and web. With these updates, leaving your house does not mean leaving your TV behind.
We know your mobile phone is the most personal device you own. It goes with you virtually everywhere you go and we know it’s how you watch TV when you’re away from your big screen. In fact, we’ve seen that Hulu viewers are taking their TV with them more often these days: Our viewers are watching 84% more hours of programming a month on their phones compared to last year. We also know that your laptop is the other screen that travels with you when you’re on-the-go. To enhance both your mobile and Web experiences, we’re rolling out a handful of features that will get you to the programming you love more quickly, give you more control over your recommendations and let you share your TV moments when you’re away.
Get to your Live TV lightning quick
First, to get you into live TV more quickly and with fewer clicks, we’re introducing a new dedicated live TV destination which will take you directly to live playback on your most recently watched channel. Just look for the lightning bolt icon on your navigation bar. Your mobile devices will also get a robust dynamic live TV guide that will allow you to easily see what’s on now, what’s coming up in the next 24 hours and switch channels.
We’ve also added a portrait player so you can see what’s on when you are watching something else – and easily switch between channels. When you’ve settled on your selection, enter full screen mode by rotating your phone horizontally. When you’re watching programming from our on-demand library, Hulu provides recommendations on what to watch next in portrait mode, so finding what to watch next is as easy as turning your wrist.
Being away from home can introduce a lot of unpredictable variables into your day. For those moments where life interrupts your TV time and you lose your place or just want to re-watch, we’re enhancing scrubbing and showing you a preview of the frame, so you can return to the exact spot where you left off.
More control over your recommendations
With more than 75,000 episodes of TV at your fingertips, it’s important our recommendations are tailored precisely to your tastes. That’s why we’re adding two new features that put you in greater control of your recommendations: “Stop Suggesting” programming and “Remove” from Watch History.
With the “Stop Suggesting” feature, you’ll be able to tell us when our recommendations in your Home experience don’t hit the mark. By selecting this action, you’ll remove the series, movie or sports league from being recommended to you again.
And for the times when you reluctantly agreed to watch something you wish you hadn’t— or maybe your babysitter forgot to switch profiles— we’re giving you the option to “Remove” items from your Keep Watching collection on Home and Watch History hub. Just select “Remove” on the program’s cover story in Home or within the context menu within the Watch History hub and our recommendation engine will forget it ever happened.
Watch on the big screen when you’re away from home
We know that two-thirds of Hulu viewers watch with family or friends at least once a week and most places you go, you’ll have access to a big(ger) screen. Even though you’re away from home, we want you to be able to enjoy the big screen experience with your friends that you love. So we’re adding HDMI support to iOS and enhancing your experience with Chromecast devices. This means you can watch Hulu on the big screen just by plugging in to an available HDMI port or casting to an available Chromecast device. Plus, our new portrait player lets you control Chromecast playback and channel-surf all in the same place!
For those moments in your life when your desktop screen is the biggest and best screen you have, we’re bringing you the built-for-Web experience we’ve been perfecting over the past year. Beginning next week, live TV subscribers will all have access to the new Hulu experience for Web – at http://new.hulu.com. Additional subscribers will start seeing the new hulu.com throughout the summer.
The best news of all? All of these features will begin rolling out to Android and iOS next week! We hope that you enjoy these enhancements while you’re watching all of this summer’s can’t-miss live and on-demand content on Hulu. And for those of you who will be working hard through the summer, Hulu is there for you to keep up with the ballgame on your computer while you get your TPS report done.