Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Hulu reached an agreement without much fanfare Tuesday, as Hulu began its Hulu Plus streaming service on Apple TV boxes. Hulu joins several other third-party providers – like the NBA, NHL and MLB.TV, among others – to offer its streaming service to Apple TV users. This alliance will greatly increase the selection and inventory of programming available on the Apple TV boxes, which now would include “Family Guy,” “Modern Family” and “Glee.”
What made it so secretive? Apple added a software application to its set-top boxes so that Hulu subscribers only had to log in – they didn’t need to download any new software. Hulu Plus, which has been in effect since the middle of 2010, features back episodes of some of the most popular TV shows for a $8 monthly subscription. Previously, users with iPhones or iPads could get access to Hulu Plus, so this step forward for Apple TV was bound to happen eventually.
Apple TV has been adding new features to its service on occasion and has been doing it without a dedicated app store. And in the fall, Apple TV is expected to move into a new level of usability when it launches its iOS 6, which would allow users to reorder icons, jut like they do currently on their iPhones and iPads.
Those who would be new to Hulu Plus on Apple TV will be able to enjoy a one-week free trial before deciding to buy. Those already using Hulu Plus on their iPhone or iPad or other device, only need to login to their account like as usual.
This significies another step forward for Apple in its push to get more Apple TVs in the market.