AT&T, the telecom company known for not being Verizon or Comcast, has been trying to side itself with the cord-cutters for a while now. Just last year, it discussed launching a streaming video service “that could rival Netflix and Hulu,” and it introduced a $39-a-month bundle of HBO Go and Amazon Prime (complete with data cap to make sure you don’t enjoy them too much).
Now, though, AT&T has adapted a “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach to online streaming, and it has simply teamed up with Hulu instead. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the deal will bring Hulu’s content to AT&T’s “websites and mobile apps,” which will allow customers to “browse Hulu shows and watch a selection of clips.” If you want to actually watch the shows you’re browsing, you’ll need a Hulu Plus account, which AT&T will happily set you up with for the low, low price of $7.99 a month.
In other words, it’s the same price that Hulu Plus normally is. So that seems weird, but at least you’ll be able to watch Hulu’s content on AT&T’s websites and apps, that’s something you could never do before! Although, you could watch Hulu’s content on Hulu’s website and app, which you’ll still be able to do, rendering these AT&T websites and apps pretty much useless. Honestly, we don’t understand the point of this at all from AT&T’s perspective, since it just seems like it’s allowing itself to become an advertising platform for Hulu Plus.
Oh, but THR also says that AT&T and Hulu are “exploring developing a Hulu app for TV.” You know, like the one that every Smart TV has? And every game console has? And Roku device? And Apple TV? Considering that AT&T is a cable provider, this whole thing reminds us a little bit of how Borders teamed up with Amazon to overhaul its online bookstore. Eventually, the two companies went their separate ways, and Amazon held onto all of Borders’ online customers. That ended up not working out for Borders too well.
But don’t worry, AT&T. We’re sure you’ll be totally fine.