Hulu adds downloads for offline viewing

Hulu's downloads feature is coming to iOS devices first. (Hulu)

Hulu has finally enabled downloads on its streaming service more than a year after it first announced that downloadable content was on the way.

The feature, which is only available with the ad-free service tier of Hulu, is rolling out today on iOS devices. The company said that Android devices soon will get support for downloads.

Viewers can download up to 25 titles across five different devices and will have up to 30 days to watch their downloaded content.  For watched content, the download will expire two days after starting playback. After downloaded content expires, viewers can renew an expired download when online, if that content is still available on Hulu.

Sponsored by Dell Technologies

Whitepaper: How to Elevate Your Content Delivery Workflows With Dell EMC PowerScale

Learn how Dell EMC PowerScale helps meet surging viewer demand while reducing costs with a single centralized platform for the ingest, processing, and delivery of the content your viewers love.

Hulu will make shows including “Family Guy,” “Desperate Housewives,” “This is Us,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “ER,” as well as Hulu Originals like “The Handmaid’s Tale” available for download.

RELATED: Editor’s Corner—When is Hulu getting downloads?

Adding downloads puts Hulu on par with competitors like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix that have offered the feature for years. But by limiting the feature to the ad-free service, Hulu is not entirely following through on the announcement it made in May 2018.

During a presentation, the company said it would launch the industry’s first ad-supported downloadable content experience during the 2018-2019 upfront season.

“Our launch of the industry’s first ad-supported downloadable content experience is yet another example of how Hulu is innovating viewer-first ad solutions to drive powerful results for brands” said Peter Naylor, senior vice president of advertising sales at Hulu, in a statement. “With downloadable content, we’re offering brands more ways to connect with engaged viewers who love the experience of watching television, wherever they may be.”