Having been the first out the gate among major U.S. broadcasters when it started streaming full-length episodes back in 2006, ABC is learning a thing or two from Hulu, the new video kid on the block backed by NBC and Fox.
This fall ABC.com plans a major upgrade to its video offering by adding features including “full-screen viewing, closed captioning and the ability to send video links that can be embedded on blogs and social networks”, reports Hollywood Insider. In contrast, Hulu has offered users the option to embed videos elsewhere on the Web (albeit for a limited time period) and full screen viewing from Day One. Closed captions are also available for some of Hulu’s content — although not nearly enough.
Earlier in the week we reported that Hulu has overtaken ABC in terms of the number of videos viewed and hours consumed per-month. However, Hollywood Insider notes that ABC still trumps Hulu in terms of unique viewers. Part of the discrepancy in the figures is that Nielson Online’s consumption stats (number of videos and hours watched) presumably count Hulu content syndicated on partnering sites.
Additional user interface enhancements to ABC.com will include “new navigation and search features that allow users to comb series offerings graphically, alphabetically or by genre or popularity.” And when users choose to embed ABC videos elsewhere or send a link to a friend they have the option to cue the video to a particular scene mid-episode.
NewTeeVee clarifies: Users still can’t embed a full video clip onto their blog or social networking profile, just a link to ABC.com.
ABC’s new player will be launched in a closed beta over the summer before launching ahead of the network’s premiere week in the fall.