Hulu

By Caroline Soss
Photo courtesy of: [1] www.crunchbase.com

Photo courtesy of: [1] www.crunchbase.com

ADDRESS

12312 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064 [2]

CONTACT

Phone (310) 570-4700
Website www.hulu.com
Twitter @hulu

PROFILE

Hulu is an over-the-top video service provider streaming on-demand programming from NBC, ABC, A&E, AMC, FOX, The CW, MTV and more.

Hulu offers advertisement-supported free programming with limited commercial interruption on its website Hulu.com. Regular advertisers include Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Microsoft, GEICO and Target.

[4]vulture

Photo courtesy of: [4] www.vulture.com

For a monthly fee of $7.99, Hulu Plus subscribers can stream unlimited premium and exclusive content from any Hulu+ enabled device. These devices include smart televisions, game consoles, smartphones/tablets and media players like Apple TV and Roku [3].

Hulu delivers over 70,400 hours of video from 514 different content partners [5]. Hulu streams popular TV shows such as FAMILY GUY, SCANDAL, THE VOICE, PARKS AND RECREATION, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART [6] and more than 800 films from The Criterion Collection [7].

Photo courtesy of: [6] www.hulu.com

Photo courtesy of: [6] www.hulu.com

Hulu also produces its own original content like DEADBEAT, EAST LOS HIGH, THE AWESOMES and THE HOTWIVES OF ORLANDO [8].

Watch Hulu’s promo for their 2014 Originals here. Video courtesy of: [9] www.hulu.com.

Hulu.com was launched in 2008 as a joint venture between Comcast’s NBCUniversal and News Corporation [10]. Today, NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company’s Disney-ABC Television Group and 21st Century Fox’s Fox Broadcasting Company together own Hulu’s online subscription service [11].

As of February 2014, Hulu reported more than five million Hulu+ subscribers and thirty million monthly free service users [12] with over four billion videos streamed in 2013 [13].

KEY EXECUTIVES

CEO Mike Hopkins, photo courtesy of: [14] www.engadget.com

CEO Mike Hopkins, photo courtesy of: [14] www.engadget.com

Last October, Hulu replaced its acting CEO with Mike Hopkins, former President of Distribution at Fox for five years [14]. Within weeks of joining the company, Hopkins hired Disney’s Elaine Paul as CFO [11]. In February 2014, Hopkins hired NBC’s Peter Naylor as SVP of Advertising Sales [13] and Sony’s Tiam Lim as Chief Technology Officer [12]. In March 2014, Disney’s Tim Connolly joined the company as Head of Distribution [15]. In April 2014, Warner Bros.’ Craig Erwich was hired as Hulu’s SVP and Head of Content [16].

FINANCIALS

Hulu is a privately held company and not required to publicly release its financial information. However, CEO Mike Hopkins reported Hulu earning one billion dollars in annual revenue at the end of last year [17]. In 2013, Hulu’s owners (Comcast, Disney and 21st Century Fox) also dropped offers to sell Hulu and instead invested $750 million dollars into the company [11].

Photo courtesy of: [18] www.techcrunch.com

Photo courtesy of: [18] www.techcrunch.com

FOCUS IN THE U.S.

In February 2014, Hulu sold its Japanese subsidiary to Tokyo-based Nippon Television Network Corporation. Since 2011, Hulu had streamed 13,000+ videos from fifty different American and European content providers to Japan. While Hulu will continue to make its content and brand available for use by Nippon TV as well as provide infrastructure service to the Japanese company, Hulu will focus on the U.S. rather than internationally [19].

MULTI-PLATFORM

Hulu aims to operate on all types of platforms with 50% of Hulu+ subscribers streaming solely on devices [17].

Photo courtesy of: [21] blog.hulu.com

Photo courtesy of: [21] blog.hulu.com

In April 2014, Amazon.com launched Amazon Fire TV – the company’s new set-top box/game console hybrid positioned to replace media players like Apple TV, Roku and Xbox [20].

Amazon Fire TV streams not only Amazon’s own online video subscription service (Amazon Prime) but also partner on-demand services, including Hulu Plus. Hulu promises the “most enhanced and updated version of the Hulu Plus Living Room experience on Amazon Fire TV” [21]. Further, Amazon added Hulu Plus to the list of services available through voice search by speaking into the Fire TV remote – making Hulu even easier to utilize on this new platform [22].

NEW CONTENT

Hulu is continuing to grow its content library with both current season television and original programming [17].

Photo courtesy of: [23] blog.hulu.com

Photo courtesy of: [23] blog.hulu.com

In April 2014, CEO Mike Hopkins announced Hulu will be exclusively streaming NBCUniversal-produced THE MINDY PROJECT and Golden Globe-winning comedy BROOKLYN NINE-NINE as well as popular series like KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS and TOP CHEF. These high-in-demand hit programs will not be available to competitors Netflix or Amazon Prime, ultimately giving Hulu monopoly control over more content [23].

Hulu also recently acquired the rights to stream ELEMENTARY, the highly rated CBS drama starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu [24], and popular CBS classics like THE BRADY BRUNCH and CHEERS.

Photo courtesy of: [25] blog.hulu.com

Photo courtesy of: [25] blog.hulu.com

Hulu is expanding its library of popular TV shows from past decades [25]. This may be a tactic to keep fairly older viewers, who grew up with this content, entertained; 60% of Hulu subscribers fall between the ages of 18 and 49 years old with an average age of 39 [26].

Photo courtesy of: [26] www.hulu.com/advertising

Photo courtesy of: [26] www.hulu.com/advertising

However, the Nielsen Company will continue excluding broadband-only households, a large total of Hulu Plus viewership, in the ratings for the 2014-2015 television season [27].

ORIGINAL CONTENT

Hulu developed twenty original series in 2013 and plans to launch twenty more this year [28]. Hulu’s original shows THE AWESOMES, BEHIND THE MASK and THE WRONG MANS were among the top ten weekly shows watched on Hulu when they aired in 2013 and were all recently renewed for another season in 2014 [17].

New in 2014, Hulu’s original comedy series DEADBEAT, starring Tyler Labine, is receiving strong reviews from Variety, the New York Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer since its premiere [29]. All ten episodes of the show’s first season were uploaded to Hulu on April 9th, 2014, and only hours later DEADBEAT as dubbed “Hulu’s best show yet” [30].

Photo courtesy of: [29] www.hulu.com

Photo courtesy of: [29] www.hulu.com

DEADBEAT follows Kevin Pacalioglu (Tyler Labine), a lazy stoner who can see the dead and becomes a freelance medium to pay his rent, helping ghosts move on to the afterlife by competing in eating contests and proposition their ex-girlfriends.

Watch the DEADBEAT series trailer here. Video courtesy of: [31] www.hulu.com. 

Critics, however, argue that Hulu being owned by television companies may explain why competitor Netflix is still spending so much more than Hulu on original programming [32].

TV EVERYWHERE

In the past year, Hulu has hired 260 new employees to complete a staff of more than 725 members with plans to continue growing the company [17].

As public interest in more convenient Internet TV Everywhere services grows, analysts predict subscribers may more easily authenticate their pay services through a social media account like Facebook or Twitter – a business tactic that may be in Hulu’s near future [33].

SOURCES

[1] Hulu CrunchBase Profile. CrunchBase. RT: 4/18/14

[2] Company Overview of Hulu, LLC. Bloomberg BusinessWeek. RT: 4/18/14

[3] Hulu – About. Hulu.com. RT: 4/18/14

[4] “Streaming Scorecard: Is Hulu Plus Still the TV King?” Vulture. RT: 4/19/14

[5] “Hulu Names Warner Bros. TV’s Craig Erwich Head of Content.” Variety.  RT: 4/18/14

[6] Hulu Popular TV Shows. Hulu.com. RT: 4/20/14

[7] “‘The Great Beauty’ Debuts Only on Hulu Plus.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/19/14

[8] “A New Year With New Hulu Originals.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/19/14

[9] Hulu Promos 2014 Hulu Originals. Hulu.com. RT: 4/20/14

[10] “Hulu Opens to Public.” Hulu.com. RT: 4/18/14

[11] “Hulu Hires Disney’s Elaine Paul as CFO.” Variety. RT: 4/18/14

[12] “A World-Class Builder Joins the Hulu Ranks.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/18/14

[13] “A Big Sales Win – Welcome Peter Naylor.” Blog.hulu.com RT: 4/18/14

[14] “Hulu officially announces its new CEO, former Fox exec Mike Hopkins.” Engadget. RT: 4/18/14

[15] “Hulu Hires Disney’s Tim Connolly as Head of Distribution.” Variety. RT: 4/18/14

[16] “Hulu Original Series Chief Departs Amid New Programming Push.” The Hollywood Reporter. RT: 4/18/14

[17] “A Strong 2013.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/18/14

[18] “The Second Screen Becomes The First Screen: Hulu Says 50% Of Its 5M Subscribers Use Devices Exclusively.” TechCrunch. RT: 4/18/14

[19] “Hulu Says Sayonara, Sells Off Japanese Unit to Nippon TV.” TechCrunch. RT: 4/18/14

[20] “Amazon Fire TV review: the set-top that tries to do everything.” Engadget. RT: 4/19/14

[21] “Hulu Plus on Amazon Fire TV.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/19/14

[22] “Amazon Fire TV’s voice search expands to cover Hulu Plus and Showtime, but not Netflix.” Engadget. RT: 4/19/14

[23] “We’re Flipping Out for NBCU Library Shows Only on Hulu Plus.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/19/14

[24] “Hulu Plus Acquires Subscription Video on Demand Rights for Popular CBS Drama ‘ELEMENTARY.’” Business Wire. RT: 4/19/14

[25] “More CBS Shows Coming to a Hulu Plus Screen Near You.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/19/14

[26] Hulu Advertising. Hulu.com. RT: 4/18/14

[27] “Nielsen Capitulates, Agrees to Withhold Broadband Households from Local Ratings – For Now.” MediaPost. RT: 4/19/14

[28] Hulu Exclusive Series. HuluMovies. RT: 4/20/14

[29] Deadbeat. Hulu.com. RT: 4/20/14

[30] “‘Deadbeat’ Is Hulu’s Best Show Yet.” Flavorwire. RT: 4/19/14

[31] Deadbeat Series Trailer. Hulu.com. RT: 4/21/14

[32] “Netflix has nothing to fear from Hulu’s sad little content expansion.” BGR. RT: 4/20/14

[33] “Hulu’s Original Content Strategy Continues to Progress Steadily.” Adweek. RT: 4/20/14

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