In response to COVID-19, Hulu adds free live news feed to its on-demand app – TechCrunch

In response to the COVID-10 outbreak, Hulu is adding a free live news feed to its app for customers who only subscribe to its on-demand service, not its live TV add-on. direct. News coverage is provided in partnership with ABC News Live and brings 24/7 live news to Hulu on-demand subscribers as part of their existing subscription.

This includes those who pay for Hulu alone as well as those who pay for the new Disney + / Hulu / ESPN + package subscription, the company noted. And it will be available for both levels of Hulu’s on-demand service, including Hulu’s ad-supported plan and Hulu’s ad-free plan.

Live streaming will also be featured in the ‘Hulu Picks’ section for easy access and will be available on the living room and mobile devices, as well as popular game consoles.

Hulu Live TV customers, on the other hand, already have a number of live TV news channels that they can watch as part of their subscription. But Hulu’s on-demand service is much larger, with 27.2 million paying subscribers, compared to just 3.2 million for Live TV.

Health organizations and political leaders have urged Americans to get their news from trusted sources during the COVID-19 crisis – not social media, where disinformation spreads faster than tech companies can moderate or suppress. (When and if they try to do it.)

Meanwhile, the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak has led to a slew of online rumors, hoaxes, conspiracy theories and snake oil cures. Earlier this week, for example, a false report of a national quarantine spread so quickly that the National Security Council had to post a statement to assure Americans that the news was false.

The addition of live news for Hulu comes at a time when a growing number of American consumers have cut the cord with traditional pay TV or have chosen never to sign up in the first place. In the case of Hulu, the company claims that almost half of its customers fall into one of these two buckets.

“Over 45% of Hulu viewers have cut the cord or have never had cable, and may not have access to live TV news to receive critical information during a national crisis,” said the company in a press release. “With this live broadcast, we aim to keep our viewers informed during this unprecedented time when access to information is vital for our communities,” Hulu said.

In addition, American consumers today have fewer daily subscriptions than in previous generations. Instead, much of our “watching on TV” now takes place in on-demand apps like Netflix and Hulu, and our news is pulled together in little chunks online.

Hulu is not the first streaming provider to add free live news to its service in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. This week, Sling TV launched free streaming which also included live news from ABC News Live.

Of course, you don’t need to be a Hulu subscriber to watch ABC News Live. The news service is provided free online and through the ABC News app. But integration with major streaming apps like Hulu will make the service more accessible and visible, as it won’t force people to look for a separate app just to watch.

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