Hulu continued its push beyond the home computer when TiVo Premiere announced a deal this week to carry Hulu Plus—after months of negotiation. According to the TiVo website, the service will be available at $7.99 per month for unlimited streaming, though it will include some pre-roll advertising. TiVo is offering six months of the service for free to new TiVo customers.
Hulu’s partnership with TiVo is only the latest in a string of similar arrangements between TiVo and other online video distributors, including Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, and BlockBuster. “We want to bring the most content to customers no matter the source," said a TiVo spokesperson. "Our customers don’t care about the source—they don’t necessarily differentiate [among platforms].”
In a post on the company's blog, Hulu's director of product management said, "I love delivering good news. And because of our world-class builders here at Hulu, I’m lucky I get to do it often. We’re obsessed with our goal to get Hulu Plus on every Internet-connected device out there."
The partnership comes as TiVo continues to struggle to reposition itself from a traditional DVR company to a service that brings more and more Web video to the television. Revenues are down over 25 percent this quarter from the same period last year—and the company’s profit this quarter is due, in part, to a recent $600 million court settlement in its favor in its patent fight with Dish Network (this time last year, TiVo reported a loss of $14.2 million).
The Hulu arrangement is obviously a useful boon to TiVo. Also notable is the fact that the arrangement puts Hulu Plus, the site's premium subscription service, on TiVo, rather than its free ad-supported service—a fact that underlines Hulu's ongoing play for market share from sites like Netflix in a fiercely competitive digital video space.