A new rumor, circulated this week, suggests that Hulu is actively developing a solution to bring a compatible version of the second largest video outlet on the web to the iPad. The current version of the Hulu website is not iPad compatible, due to the lack of Flash support. Hulu uses Flash to deliver its video content to viewers.
An inside source has purported that Hulu is already moving forward on plans to bring Hulu to the iPad, and while unsubstantiated, the claim makes a reasonable amount of sense. One one hand, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar has called for a strong focus on moving into mobile. On another hand, although Hulu uses Flash to deliver their video content, the shows and movies that Hulu offers viewers is actually already encoded in
H.264, a format supported by the iPad.
The reason behind Hulu's use of Flash is for convenient insertion of advertisements into Hulu's video content. If the developers at Hulu devise a workaround to using Flash to manage advertisements in Hulu's content, Hulu can theoretically eliminate Flash from its requirements.
As this rumor's source, TechCrunch, reports -- the technical mountain Hulu would have to climb to make this happen is actually more of a small hill. While TechCrunch muses about whether or not the engineering effort is worth it to reach an unknown number of iPad owners, that might be the wrong question to ask. The same limitations presented by the iPad are those that have kept Hulu from the iPhone. Any effort by Hulu to develop an iPad-compatible version of Hulu would, in turn, create a version of Hulu that is also iPhone compatible. So, the proper question might be, if Hulu has a non-Flash version of their website in their wheelhouse, then what has kept them from building it for the iPhone?