Cable and satellite providers ought to be shaking in their overpriced boots as online content providers continue to gain steam with consumers. Many would agree that it’s not too unrealistic to ditch traditional pro content providers for these cheaper alternatives – and have access to nearly identical content.
Our family kicked the cable box to the curb about two months ago, in lieu of Netflix and Hulu. We’re all familiar with how Netflix continues to ignore requests from the blindness community to make its mobile application and desktop site accessible, so I was hardly surprised when I subscribed to Hulu and found its iOS offering to be an accessibility nightmare. But – the story doesn’t end there.
In mid-December, I sent Hulu’s customer support team a brief message about the accessibility concerns I was experiencing and that, as a customer, I felt this was something worth mending on their part. What I received in return slightly resembled a boiler plate response, to which I promptly responded with another mention of how I was paying a monthly subscription fee and could easily take my business elsewhere. That’s right, folks – Romack used his big boy voice, or whatever the digital equivalent would be.
I was pleasantly surprised to receive a series of tweets and email responses from a customer service representative the following day and, in what seemed like a genuine attempt to alleviate my concerns, he asked a ton of questions about VoiceOver and the accessibility of iOS. We swapped resources and documentation, and despite his presumed sincerity, I just didn’t know whether we’d actually see an accessible Hulu Plus application.
But – not two months later (and the next subsequent update) – Hulu has stepped up to the plate and incorporated VoiceOver access into it’s Hulu Plus offering for iOS. In a sweeping overhaul of the application, all core features of the application, with exception of subscription management, are fully accessible to VoiceOver users. I was absolutely floored.
As I mention in the accompanying podcast, this isn’t just about a content provider’s application being made accessible. Hulu is only one of many in the ballgame right now, standing against some fierce competition. But, regardless of the other players on the field, Hulu has some serious clout, and I believe our discussion for equal access to digital content now has clout, too. Netflix doesn’t have an excuse. Amazon has nothing to hide behind anymore. Content providers and distributors are skating on thin ice, and Hulu has thinned the ice for us just that much more.
Take a Second – Give it a Try
Hulu offers a free trial, which gives new users some time to see what the service has to offer them. There’s no harm in giving it a go – and you can test drive the accessible app in the process. The website isn’t the best, or worst, in terms of accessibility, but I have a feeling you’ll be able to enjoy the ever-expanding catalog of content without too much hassle from their desktop site.
Click here to use my referral code – and we’ll both get two additional weeks of Hulu Plus for free