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Hulu joins the streaming wars with free mobile content

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(Read caption) Hulu Plus on Roku.

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Starting this summer, Hulu fans will be able to watch select Hulu programming for free from their mobile devices without the need for a Hulu Plus subscription. The announcement was made at Hulu's Upfront event in New York City on Wednesday, where the company also revealed that its Hulu Plus subscribers had surpassed the 6 million mark, up from 5 million in December.

Prior to the announcement, only Hulu Plus subscribers could access content on mobile devices. For non-subscribers, free content was limited to desktops and laptops only. But this summer, Hulu will let non-subscribers watch "a selection of ad-supported full TV episodes on mobile devices — for free." In conjunction with the free streaming on mobile devices, Hulu also said it will be launching its next-generation Hulu Plus iPhone app.

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Moreover, the company reiterated that it is in talks with cable providers to get its Hulu Plus service installed in select cable boxes. This comes on the heels of Netflix's announcement that its app would soon be integrated with TiVo DVRs from Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications, and RCN.

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Although Hulu didn't mention which or how many shows will be available for free on mobile devices this summer, today's news is still bound to please TV junkies as it offers yet another way to enjoy Hulu's catalog of TV shows without paying. The Hulu Plus paywall was one of the last barriers to using the service via mobile; now, the media company will have new users to show ads to, potentially increasing revenue.

What do you think, readers? If you avoided using Hulu before, does this change your mind? And with Hulu easier to use, does it make you more likely to cut cable entirely? Let us know in the comments.

Louis Ramirez is a senior feature writer for, where this article first appeared: