Hulu Gets a Makeover for Many Users

The popular streaming video site Hulu gets a makeover for some users this year. You’re probably familiar with the video site with the iconic green logo. It’s owned by Disney, Comcast, and News Corp. The three have been engaged in a bitter power struggle since its inception over programming and licensing. With Comcast bowing out of the management of the company, Disney and News Corp have been left to battle it out – but users score at least one win out of the fiasco.

hulu plus new

New Interface For Hulu Plus

It’s rare that a company gives its site a full makeover. Such moves can been seen in one of a few lights – either the company is desperate to re-invent itself or it’s doing so well that it wants to throw some cash at improving user experience.

Apple fans know all about the latter – the tech giant periodically revamps its site, making it easier to use each time. Hulu’s new interface primarily affects Hulu Plus users on Roku, some Samsung TV and Blue-Ray Players, and the Nintendo Wii. The update to these devices sort of mirrors the changes made earlier to the Playstation 3 Hulu interface as well as the Apple TV redesign.

What changed? Basically, Hulu Plus is more living room-centric. Its focus is on larger artwork, simple scrolling, and improved search features. It also brings Hulu Kids into the living room.

Competition

Competition is stiff. First, there’s Netflix – who dominates his scene. Hulu sees red everywhere they go, and that’s because Netflix has over 30 million subscribers. It’s also supported on hundreds of different devices and platforms.

While Netflix has had its share of faux pas, it’s also worked to keep its image up and to keep customers happy.

Amazon is another company that Hulu has to contend with. With Amazon, users get an intuitive layout, and a uniform experience, regardless of where they access the site from. It’s easy to see what has been purchased, what can be viewed, and the picture scales up nicely. The server on both Amazon and Netflix is also mature and stable, making it simple to connect to from service providers such as DSL.com.

In the past, Hulu struggled with its scaling on larger T.V. screens – especially when the picture was in SD instead of HD. While the new look is a good start, it has to offer something else that neither Amazon nor Netflix currently offers.

The Bidding War

Perhaps a ray of sunshine is the fact that Hulu is being courted by several major companies and private equity firms. Yahoo! reportedly offered Hulu owners between $600 and $800 billion for the company. The wide range is due to the fact that News Corp and Disney are battling it out over how the sale of the company should proceed and what the terms of the sale of licenses should be.

It’s unclear whether Yahoo! would receive favorable licensing and rights to the programs of the owners or whether the owners would retain significant control over their programming. Of course, if Yahoo! did acquire the company with favorable terms, it could use its influence to iron out any remaining design bugs and focus on ramping up its user base.

Linda Hunt is an entertainment fanatic. She frequently spends her free time writing for TV and movie blogs about the latest happening in the entertainment industry. To know more about, check DSL.com.

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