It took Hulu Plus many years before finally making their services available on the Apple TV. Why did it take so long to become available? It stems down to two main reasons.
In order to offer Hulu Plus app onto the Apple TV, Apple insists new Hulu Plus subscribers register through Apple’s in-app purchasing and subscription renewal. Apple therefore gets a percentage of the $7.99 monthly subscription fee and also gets ownership of new member’s billing information. Having customer’s personal information is valuable intellectual property. Hulu Plus was reluctant to lose their hold on customers’ information and see profit margins cut. However, with rumors of the latest Apple smart TV underway, it became more important than ever to get Hulu Plus streamed on Apple devices.
The other reason why it took so long for Hulu Plus to be added as an app to the Apple TV is that Hulu needed the Apple TV able to support viable ads. Most streaming apps offered on the Apple TV are ad-free until fairly recently. Being ad-free would not work with Hulu Plus’ business model, where most of their revenue comes from selling ad space. Hulu Plus wanted to wait until the Apple TV’s platform became mature enough to serve their viable ads. Fortunately, the Apple TV ad platform has matured enough to now support Hulu Plus.
While this partnership took a while to come together it looks to be a win-win situation for both companies. Apple can now offer their customers stronger programming content thus increasing their Apple TV sales. Hulu Plus now has the opportunity to reach more subscribers through Apple’s existing customer database.