In a recent Hulu weblog post Eugene Wei writes:
We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs. Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren’t necessarily visible to the end user. Not all video sites have these needs, but for our business these are all important and often contractual requirements.
I can understand their concerns about securing content. No matter how you feel about copy protection, I think we can admit that if you could easily download video from Hulu it would hurt ad sales for the site. And, unless we all start giving money directly to content producers, they’re going to need at least some of us to actually watch these ads.
But, let’s be honest this isn’t HTML5 vs. Flash, this is about being able to watch Hulu on the iPhone and iPad. And to be honest, I really think that experience would be better in a native application. Just imagine Hulu pushing icon badges to you letting you know that there’s a new episode of your favorite show. Now that would be fancy.