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The week in OTT: Hulu unveils user profiles; Apple seeks newly released films

The week in over-the-top provides a recap of recent news related to OTT initiatives from various networks and platforms.

* Hulu LLC introduced profiles for its subscribers. According to a Dec. 8 official blog post, Hulu subscribers can add up to six specific profiles on an account, with each profile having a separate identity, viewing history, recommendations and Watchlist.

* Apple Inc. is in talks with Hollywood studios about getting earlier access to movies for its iTunes platform, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 7, citing people familiar with the matter. Major Hollywood studios, including 21st Century Fox Inc., Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. and Comcast Corp.'s Universal Pictures, are reportedly seeking high-priced home-video rentals of new movies shortly after their theatrical release.

In other platform news …

* Netflix Inc. struck a deal with Singaporean broadcaster MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. that will see a range of TV series from the city-state become available on the streaming service, Variety reported Dec. 7. The deal covers more than 20 Chinese-language TV shows, including classic dramas such as "The Little Nyonya" and "The Golden Path," and recent series like "The Dream Job" and "The Truth Seekers."

* Netflix is in discussions to co-produce Korean content with iHQ, the production unit of South Korean pay TV provider D'Live, Variety reported Dec. 6, citing remarks by Jeon Yong-ju, CEO of D'Live and iHQ. The two companies previously teamed up to distribute Netflix content in South Korea through D'Live's set-top boxes.

* Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. is now offering more than 125 films in 4K resolution on its Google Play Movies & TV service. The movies, which include titles such as "Ghostbusters" and "Captain Phillips," are available in the U.S. and Canada for now, according to a Dec. 6 blog post by Ben Serridge, product manager of Google Play Movies & TV.

* AT&T Inc.'s over-the-top service DIRECTV Now added RFD-TV (US), a rural lifestyle network, to its portfolio, Multichannel News reported Dec. 5. The network is included in the basic package of DIRECTV Now, which costs $35. RFD-TV is also available on the other three channel-tier bundles, according to the report.

* Netflix is looking to boost its original programming lineup to 1,000 hours in 2017, more than doubling its output from 2016, the company's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told attendees at a conference in New York. Netflix has some 30 original series in various stages of production or release and will proffer more than 40 kids originals next year. The company also wants to buttress its position in telefilm production.