Hulu Plus for iOS complies with Apple's subscription rules, removes Web link

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
In response to Apple's newly revised rules for subscription applications on iOS, Hulu Plus has removed a link to its website where users can buy a subscription outside of the confines of the App Store.



Previously, the Hulu application for iPad had a link that told users to visit the site hulu.com/plus to subscribe to the service. But as noted by Peter Kafka of All Things D, the login screen for the software has been revised, and no longer offers a link for users to subscribe to Hulu Plus.



Hulu does not offer users the ability to subscribe to its "Plus" service through Apple's official App Store for iOS devices. If Hulu were to allow users to easily subscribe through App Store software, the video streaming service would have to provide Apple with a 30 percent cut of those sales.



Apple and service providers like Hulu appeared to be headed for a collision earlier this year, when Apple banned links to out-of-app purchases. Apple's revised App Store policies, unveiled in February, banned links to external websites to purchase content or subscriptions, with a deadline to comply by June 30.



While that ban remains, Apple earlier this month backed down from a requirement that subscriptions also be offered within App Store software at the same price as it is made available elsewhere. That concession from Apple allows content providers like Hulu to continue to have iOS applications without the option to subscribe from within the software.







Instead, for now with Hulu, users must subscribe to the Hulu Plus service on their own, and can still do so by visiting the official website through the iPhone or iPad Mobile Safari browser. Then their username and password can be entered when the official Hulu Plus application is installed on the device.



Apple's change of heart came after one prominent content provider, the Financial Times, decided to create an HTML5-optimized website rather than comply with Apple's in-app subscription rules and provide a 30 percent cut to the iPhone maker. While Apple maintains control over App Store software, any sites loaded through the Safari browser on iOS devices can do as they please.



While Hulu has updated its application to comply with Apple's new rules, some other major services such as Netflix and Rhapsody still have "buy" buttons in their applications. And the Amazon Kindle software also includes a link to allow users to buy e-books for the Kindle platform through Amazon's website.



"Hard to believe that Amazon will get rid of its Kindle iOS apps altogether, since they're a key feature of the Kindle ecosystem," Kafka wrote. "But dropping the app's 'buy button' will be a real drag for the bookseller too."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 85
    joseph ljoseph l Posts: 197member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In response to Apple's newly revised rules for subscription applications on iOS, Hulu Plus has removed a link to its website where users can buy a subscription outside of the confines of the App Store.



    While Hulu has updated its application to comply with Apple's new rules, some other major services such as Netflix and Rhapsody still have "buy" buttons in their applications. And the Amazon Kindle software also includes a link to allow users to buy e-books for the Kindle platform through Amazon's website.








    So Hulu can't poach Steve's customers while they are a guest on Steve's devices. That is just being a polite guest at one of Steve's garden parties.



    Netflix and Rhapsody and especially Amazon are all pissing into Steve's punchbowl. Like party guests who make things uncomfortable for everyone else, they need security to ask them nicely (ONLY ONCE!) to please leave. If they don't, they need to be "escorted" to the door. And once outside, they deserve to have the living shit beat out of them.



    Sounds fair to me!
  • Reply 2 of 85
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Maybe they could have come up with something along the lines of if you already have your own subscription model with your own collection of fees etc - then we (Apple) will only take a 10% cut as a conduit to your content - but if you are new to the subscription based online content delivery game - we will take care of the mess of managing subscriptions and collecting fees and validating users etc - for 30% fee per transaction.
  • Reply 3 of 85
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Is anyone here actually paying for Hulu Plus? I do pay for Netflix streaming.
  • Reply 4 of 85
    I don't see how this is anything but monopolistic business practices, even after dropping the ridiculous requirement that in app pricing is the same price as elsewhere. (Which I am sure would have triggered an investigation had they not backed down.) I do love Apple's products and I respect their right to approve or deny apps, but in my opinion these subscription policies cross the line.
  • Reply 5 of 85
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    The real issue is that Apple's in-app purchase system wouldn't be able to handle Amazon's thousands of books even if they wanted to support it. There is a limit of 3000 unique IAP items per app which is impractical in Amazon's case.
  • Reply 6 of 85
    jims1973jims1973 Posts: 24member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Is anyone here actually paying for Hulu Plus? I do pay for Netflix streaming.



    I pay for it! It's replaced my cable bill which was $90 a month to $8 a month for Hulu and the only thing that's changed is I watch shows a day later... no big deal for me.
  • Reply 7 of 85
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jims1973 View Post


    I pay for it! It's replaced my cable bill which was $90 a month to $8 a month for Hulu and the only thing that's changed is I watch shows a day later... no big deal for me.



    Do they have all the major ones available the next day and let you go back through the catalog? I know the free version of Hulu had restrictions on both that could vary widely between shows. How about the quality, is the max still their 480p?
  • Reply 8 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Is anyone here actually paying for Hulu Plus? I do pay for Netflix streaming.



    I, like you, do not pay for Hulu Plus (although I used to watch stuff on Hulu when it was free). When Hulu went to Plus (pay), I sent them an email and told them to 'shove it', their pay service. You can watch TV shows for free on the network websites or on FIOS or Comcast 'On Demand', why would I pay for something I can watch for free..........



    I do subscribe and pay for Netflix streaming & one at a time BluRay's........
  • Reply 9 of 85
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foxhunter101 View Post


    I, like you, do not pay for Hulu Plus (although I used to watch stuff on Hulu when it was free). When Hulu went to Plus (pay), I sent them an email and told them to 'shove it', their pay service. You can watch TV shows for free on the network websites or on FIOS or Comcast 'On Demand', why would I pay for something I can watch for free..........



    I do subscribe and pay for Netflix streaming & one at a time BluRay's........



    I disagree with your sentiment. A great many Americans pay for content they can otherwise get for "free". When you pay for a cable or satellite subscription you are also paying for the convenience of having all your local channels broadcast through that same box without having to switch to an antenna input.



    You also pay for many other stations that also include commercials. I don't think it's unreasonable for Hulu to charge for their service even if it can be had elsewhere, however, I personally don't see the utility of their service over free services if the only effort to launch a different website or app, but that's an issue with their business model not their hubris. If they could guarantee, for me as the consumer, that all shows will be available the following day and not be removed from viewing at some wonky timeframe I'd consider their service.
  • Reply 10 of 85
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


    Maybe they could have come up with something along the lines of if you already have your own subscription model with your own collection of fees etc - then we (Apple) will only take a 10% cut as a conduit to your content - but if you are new to the subscription based online content delivery game - we will take care of the mess of managing subscriptions and collecting fees and validating users etc - for 30% fee per transaction.



    This is an interesting idea. I've seen this revenue share approach in other areas and seems to suit most parties.
  • Reply 11 of 85
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    So Hulu can't poach Steve's customers while they are a guest on Steve's devices. That is just being a polite guest at one of Steve's garden parties.



    Netflix and Rhapsody and especially Amazon are all pissing into Steve's punchbowl. Like party guests who make things uncomfortable for everyone else, they need security to ask them nicely (ONLY ONCE!) to please leave. If they don't, they need to be "escorted" to the door. And once outside, they deserve to have the living shit beat out of them.



    Sounds fair to me!



    People went to Steve's garden party because they knew those guests would be there. Kick out those guests and you might find many others decide to leave as well.
  • Reply 12 of 85
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,302member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    So Hulu can't poach Steve's customers while they are a guest on Steve's devices. That is just being a polite guest at one of Steve's garden parties.



    Netflix and Rhapsody and especially Amazon are all pissing into Steve's punchbowl. Like party guests who make things uncomfortable for everyone else, they need security to ask them nicely (ONLY ONCE!) to please leave. If they don't, they need to be "escorted" to the door. And once outside, they deserve to have the living shit beat out of them.



    Sounds fair to me!



    Substituting "Steve" for Apple the corporation is totally weird IMHO. In addition you're setting yourself up for a huge letdown when "Steve" is no longer in charge at Apple. Honestly they'll do just fine even with no "Steve" running the show. Making this all about a particular personality, as tho someone is attacking your friend "Steve", is just really strange.
  • Reply 13 of 85
    iguesssoiguessso Posts: 132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    So Hulu can't poach Steve's customers while they are a guest on Steve's devices. That is just being a polite guest at one of Steve's garden parties.



    Netflix and Rhapsody and especially Amazon are all pissing into Steve's punchbowl. Like party guests who make things uncomfortable for everyone else, they need security to ask them nicely (ONLY ONCE!) to please leave. If they don't, they need to be "escorted" to the door. And once outside, they deserve to have the living shit beat out of them.



    Sounds fair to me!







    Seems a little silly to me that subscribing outside the app is OK but the app can't mention it.



    I wonder what percentage of 'average' users will be able to deduce that they need to go the website to subscribe, without being specifically told or provided a link. My guess is that a large number will be completely stymied. (opinion based on unfortunate amounts of time doing tech support, and a generally low opinion of the 'average' person's deductive powers.)



    I happily subscribe to Hulu Plus. Let's see, Hulu Plus - unlimited viewing: $8/mo. iTunes - one episode of The Daily Show: $1.99. Hmm.
  • Reply 14 of 85
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Hulu does not offer users the ability to subscribe to its "Plus" service through Apple's official App Store for iOS devices.



    All that was amended was the pricing rule. Not the IAP requirement. So they will have to do another amendment before the end of the month
  • Reply 15 of 85
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post


    I don't see how this is anything but monopolistic business practices, even after dropping the ridiculous requirement that in app pricing is the same price as elsewhere. (Which I am sure would have triggered an investigation had they not backed down.) I do love Apple's products and I respect their right to approve or deny apps, but in my opinion these subscription policies cross the line.



    The App Store is a store. If the App Store was a brick-and-mortar store, would you feel the same way? Best Buy sells Kindles, and they take a cut on each sale. Say what you will about the cut being for warehousing, overhead, etc. Amazon can do all this buy themselves. They can sell directly to their customers. Why do they sell at Best Buy then and make less money? The real value Best Buy provides Amazon is that they deliver customers. X amount of customers go to Best Buy every day, walk through the aisles, and often make unplanned purchases. That's what the cut is for.



    Now, do you think Best Buy would tolerate Amazon opening up a kiosk in their store, and start selling Kindle's to Best Buy's customers without paying a cut? "But, but... Best Buy isn't providing them warehousing space, why should they get a cut??"



    Or how about Amazon putting a huge sign up above the Kindle stand telling people to go to Amazon.com so they can buy it cheaper? You think Best Buy would allow that?



    Now that Apple has relaxed some rules, they're almost more lenient than brick-and-mortar stores. Also, Apple doesn't have a clear majority share of the market, so it's tough to argue any monopolistic tendencies. All they have is contracts with developers who choose to use their store.
  • Reply 16 of 85
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post


    The App Store is a store. If the App Store was a brick-and-mortar store, would you feel the same way? Best Buy sells Kindles, and they take a cut on each sale. Say what you will about the cut being for warehousing, overhead, etc. Amazon can do all this buy themselves. They can sell directly to their customers. Why do they sell at Best Buy then and make less money? The real value Best Buy provides Amazon is that they deliver customers. X amount of customers go to Best Buy every day, walk through the aisles, and often make unplanned purchases. That's what the cut is for.



    Now, do you think Best Buy would tolerate Amazon opening up a kiosk in their store, and start selling Kindle's to Best Buy's customers without paying a cut? "But, but... Best Buy isn't providing them warehousing space, why should they get a cut??"



    Or how about Amazon putting a huge sign up above the Kindle stand telling people to go to Amazon.com so they can buy it cheaper? You think Best Buy would allow that?



    Now that Apple has relaxed some rules, they're almost more lenient than brick-and-mortar stores. Also, Apple doesn't have a clear majority share of the market, so it's tough to argue any monopolistic tendencies. All they have is contracts with developers who choose to use their store.



    False analogy, Best Buy doesn't take a cut of every BOOK sold on the Kindles sold by Best Buy.



    Why Apple/MS/Google has to take a cut of a book sold by Amazon?
  • Reply 17 of 85
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    All that was amended was the pricing rule. Not the IAP requirement. So they will have to do another amendment before the end of the month



    If I remember right, both pricing and IAP obligation were amended
  • Reply 18 of 85
    applestudapplestud Posts: 367member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post


    I don't see how this is anything but monopolistic business practices



    Monopolistic, huh? I guess the iPad is the ONLY place to buy Kindle books or watch Hulu, right? Stop throwing around the "M" word when you have no idea what you're talking about. Happens far too often.
  • Reply 19 of 85
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,774member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post


    False analogy, Best Buy doesn't take a cut of every BOOK sold on the Kindles sold by Best Buy.



    Why Apple/MS/Google has to take a cut of a book sold by Amazon?



    Actually analogies don't have to be exact. Best Buy the brick and mortar store is the platform that Amazon is selling it's kindle's from. If Amazon opened up a Kiosk and sold books from it instead of kindles, the analogy still works.



    Best Buy provided a platform for which amazon in this instance or any other company in real life choose to sell from. That costs money. Amazon used to charge way more than the 30% they currently charge for magazines and newspapers to do business on their kindle platform. Apple actually forced the price down. Amazon used to collect 70% and give back 30%....but don't let facts get in the way of the HATE APPLE crowd.
  • Reply 20 of 85
    For me anyway, it's time to start evaluating alternatives to Apple products.
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