×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hulu Finally Adds Downloads for Offline Mobile Viewing

Hulu at long last is launching one of its customers’ most-requested features: the ability to download TV shows and movies to mobile devices for watching them on the go.

The download feature, which has been several years in the works, gives Hulu subscribers on the $11.99 no-commercials plan the ability to download tens of thousands of TV episodes and movies. It’s not available to customers who have the entry-level $5.99-per-month package with ads.

For now, it’s available only on Hulu’s iOS app for Apple devices. The company says the feature will be coming to the Android app “soon.”

The majority of Hulu’s catalog, which includes some 85,000 total TV episodes, is available for offline viewing. That includes most Hulu originals, including full seasons of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Veronica Mars,” “Shrill” and “The Act” as well as licensed content including “Family Guy,” “Desperate Housewives,” “This Is Us,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “ER.”

The move comes nearly three years after Netflix bowed the same feature, and four years after Amazon Prime Video added that ability for both iOS and Android apps. Disney Plus, launching Nov. 12, also will include content downloads.

Hulu originally anticipated rolling out offline viewing in 2017 but that got back-burnered amid other development priorities — specifically, as Hulu worked on new features for the live TV service.

A Hulu rep would not specify how much content is available to download for offline viewing, or spell out which TV shows or movies aren’t included. The reason some content is excluded is that some of Hulu’s past deals did not contemplate download rights.

According to Hulu, customers can download a maximum of 25 titles across five different devices. Downloads are available for up to 30 days; they will expire two days after a user starts playback. After downloaded content expires, viewers can renew an expired download when they’re connected online (assuming the content is still available on Hulu).

To access the download-to-go feature, Hulu users must update their iOS app to the most recent version. In the app, there’s a new “Downloads” tab at the bottom of the screen for accessing downloaded content. To find more shows and movies to download, users can click “See What’s Downloadable” and browse titles. Search results also will indicate whether a specific movie or show is available for download via a download icon on the details page.

Hulu’s download feature is available on both WiFi and cellular connections. Users can disable cellular downloading in Settings, if they want to avoid eating into mobile-data usage caps.

Hulu is under the full control of Disney, which picked up 21st Century Fox’s stake in the streamer and struck a deal with Comcast in May 2019 that eventually will give the Mouse House 100% ownership of Hulu.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • daydream view

    Google Ships Pixel 4 Without Daydream VR Support, Stops Selling Daydream Viewer

    Google is effectively phasing out its Daydream virtual reality (VR) platform: The company’s latest flagship Pixel 4 flagship phone, which Google unveiled at a press event in New York Tuesday, won’t support Google’s Daydream mobile VR platform anymore, a spokesperson confirmed to Variety. The company will also stop selling the Daydream viewer, but continue to [...]

  • Google Wifi

    The New Google Wifi Ships in Three Colors Because Good-Looking Routers Work Better

    When Google revamped its Wifi router product, it extended the devices reach and doubled their speed, while also adding a full-blown smart speaker with Google Assistant. But the company paid just as much attention to Google Wifi’s design, down to the decision to ship the product in three colors. The surprising reason for this: Google [...]

  • Nest Mini

    Google Introduces New $49 Nest Mini Speaker With On-Board Machine Learning, Stereo Pairing

    Google introduced a revamped version of its entry-level smart speaker at a press event in New York Tuesday: The new $49 Nest Mini speaker effectively replaces its Home Mini predecessor with bigger sound, a built-in machine learning chip for faster responses, ultrasound for proximity detection and the ability to pair 2 speakers for inexpensive stereo [...]

  • Google Stadia Game Streaming Service Launching

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service Will Launch Nov. 19

    Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh gave us an update on the company’s game streaming service Stadia during the company’s fall hardware event in New York Tuesday: Stadia will be available to the public on Nov. 19. Stadia promises to stream games directly from the cloud, with no need to buy a full-blown game console. Consumers [...]

  • LeEco founder Jia Yueting

    LeEco Founder Jia Yueting Files for Bankruptcy in the U.S.

    Jia Yueting, the colorful Chinese entrepreneur who founded the LeEco electronics-to-video streaming group, has filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Jia, sometimes known as YT, has debts on both sides of the Pacific and has been in the U.S. from late 2017, in defiance of an order from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to return [...]

  • Apple TV Plus on Roku

    Roku Adds Apple TV App, Just in Time for Apple TV Plus Streaming Launch

    Apple’s TV and movie streaming app has landed on Roku. Starting today, most Roku device users will be able to add the Apple TV app for free. Under the companies’ agreement — for the first time — Roku users can use the Apple TV app to discover and watch movies, TV shows and more, including [...]

  • The Olympic Rings adorn an event

    Eurosport Strikes Content and Ad Deal With Twitter for Tokyo Olympic Games

    Discovery-owned Eurosport has inked a content and ad sales deal with Twitter for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Eurosport has rights to the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 16 European markets. Under the deal, Twitter will carry extensive event highlight clips including medal-winning moments during the Games. Territories covered in the deal include Austria, Belgium, the Czech [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content