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Hulu Plus Adds 1 Million Subscribers

30 Apr, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

SVOD service now has 4 million subscribers — about 87% fewer than Netflix

Hulu’s subscription video-on-demand service, Hulu Plus, has reached 4 million subscribers — up from the 2012 yearend tally of 3 million.

The service also set a new revenue record in the first quarter (ended March 31), with Hulu users (including ad-supported Hulu.com) streaming more than 1 billion content videos, according to a blog post by acting CEO Andy Forrsell. Hulu Plus costs $7.99 a month, while Hulu.com is free.

In addition, mobile viewing will account for approximately 15% of Hulu’s video consumption in 2013 and 2014, according to Forrsell. He said the statistic is noteworthy, as mobile viewing was nonexistent for the service two years ago. Meanwhile, nearly 30% of Hulu use is done via the TV in the living room, with 80% of users watching content with someone else.

The upgraded metrics come as Hulu’s corporate owners — The Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and NBC Universal — mull the future of the online repurposed content aggregator. Last month, Hulu’s owners began making overtures about a possible private sale of the platform — perhaps spurred by the meteoric rise of Netflix this year.

Unlike Netflix, Hulu and Hulu Plus run periodic ads (although Hulu Plus does not run ads during programs), which has made the platform No. 1 in engagement among ad-supported websites, according to comScore. Hulu, which generated about $700 million in revenue in 2012, also ranks tops in market share of all premium online video providers, delivering one in three of all premium video ads in the United States.

“Our reasonable ad load drives the highest recall and awareness for brands, which results in higher effectiveness for the video ads,” Forrsell wrote.

Meanwhile, Hulu, at Digital Content NewFronts in New York, upped its stake in programming with the announcement of new series slated to stream this year — including originals “Quick Draw,” a western comedy, and “East Los High,” a Latino teen series.

“East Los High” features an all-Latino cast, director, writers and creators — many of whom hail from East Los Angeles. More than 15 public health organizations, including Advocates for Youth, Voto Latino, the California Family Health Council and Legacy LA, advised on the scripts and content to address teen issues related to relationships and sexuality.

The shows join nine other Hulu Original Series and Hulu Exclusive Series as part of Hulu’s Summer Slate 2013. The slate includes “The Awesomes,” “Behind the Mask,” “The Wrong Mans,” “Mother Up!,” “Pramface” (season two), “Prisoners of War” (season two), “The Only Way is Essexx” (season four), “Braquo” (season two) and “Moone Boy.”

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