Hulu Coming to the iMobiles?

First off, rather than repeating iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch every time, I’m going to call this class of devices the “iMobiles”

Hulu to date has been the number one reason cited why the iMobiles need to have Flash. The list of Hulu fans includes Engadget, Gizmodo, TechCrunch (by Michael Arrington on the Charlie Rose Show), and even Adobe themselves in their Flash Blog defense of Flash article.

Now, it’s being reported by TechCrunch that Hulu is allegedly developing a version of their site that would be iMobiles compatible and Hulu is targeting a launch to coincide with the iPad launch. Now, the Hulu site’s front end is all Flash driven, so rewriting that element of the site is one task as well as rewriting the ad delivery engine for the site. Now, TUAW is indicating one huge element for bringing Hulu to the iPad is already done, the conversion of their videos into H.264 format (open format already supported by the iMobiles). YouTube on the iPhone currently delivers their videos via this H.264 format. The article is unclear whether the site or app would be for the iPad only, but really it would only make sense to provide access to all 3 iMobiles devices.

The decision for Hulu comes down to creating an Application like YouTube, or whether they want to create a HTML 5 compliant site using Javascript which replicates the functionality of their current Flash site. Now by building an application or a special website Hulu could develop location aware ad delivery using the location services resources available for the iMobiles.

Previously I had suggested that Hulu was waiting on their subscription service plans to port the service to the iMobiles. Perhaps, Hulu wants to get iPad/iPhone users “hooked” onto Hulu before the free access ends. Also, Hulu might need the “iMobiles”user base to prove the size of their potential market to the various content providers out there. Several million Hulu iMobiles users might be enough to convince Apple that a deal with Hulu makes sense, and install Hulu’s application or link to their website by default on all iMobiles like the YouTube app.

If TechCrunch’s report is true, it would really be a death blow to the Flash defenders contending that Flash is a real feature gap hindering purchase of an iPad.

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