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AT&T on Wednesday said it has an agreement in place to bring Hulu’s subscription streaming service to its customers later this year. The deal builds on AT&T’s existing contract with Hulu for its free content.
Once the service arrives, AT&T customers will be able to browse Hulu programs and watch shows through a special AT&T app for mobile viewing or on an AT&T website when using a desktop or notebook.
The wireless carrier said the expanded relationship complements AT&T’s other over-the-top (OOT) initiatives, namely Otter Media – a venture between itself and The Chernin Group to invest in, acquire and launch OOT video services.
The broadcast television industry is slowly warming up to the idea of web distribution and wireless carriers want in on the action for obvious reasons. Increased competition is taking its toll on carrier profits and web video is quickly becoming a hot commodity.
Just yesterday, Verizon announced plans to acquire AOL, a company that has quietly become a player in the digital video industry. And lest we forget that AT&T’s $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV is still pending.
The real winner here may actually be Hulu. The streaming service was on the auction block for several years before its owners decided not to sell in 2013, right around the time that cord-cutting and OOT started to get semi-serious.