Hulu will head into the voice-based navigation and search mix this fall, when the OTT service extends support for Amazon’s Alexa platform.
Once integration is complete, “You can ask your Alexa Voice Remote to find, launch, and control content on Hulu or pair your Fire TV to an Echo device to enjoy hands-free, far-field voice control to perform an array of actions on their TV including pause, rewind, fast-forward and start watching favorite titles and channels,” Richard Irving, VP of product at Hulu, explained in this blog post.
At launch, Hulu’s integration will support voice commands such as, “Alexa, tune in Bravo,” and “Alexa, watch The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “Alexa, go back two minutes.”
Voice navigation is a small but growing trend. In Q2, 10.9% of consumers of a new TiVo video trends survey said they use voice search functionality to find something to watch on TV, and 19% of respondents said they want that capability. Voice search, TiVo concluded, “is a sticky feature capable of driving higher user engagement” while helping viewers find what content faster.
Hulu, which launched its live TV beta in May, has seen average daily sign-ups rise 98% since March, thanks in part to the popularity of Hulu’s award-winning original series The Handmaid’s Tale, Ben Smith, the company’s head of experience, told The Hollywood Reporter.