Hulu, Univision Sign Streaming Deal5 Oct, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
The deal includes first-time Spanish language current and catalog programming for both Hulu and Hulu Plus, the online content aggregator’s subscription video-on-demand service
Hulu and Univision Communications Oct. 5 said they signed a multiyear agreement that gives Hulu users access to major Spanish language telenovelas, comedies, variety shows and reality series beginning later this year.
As part of this agreement, Hulu users will have next-day access to a selection of current season programming, while Hulu Plus subscribers will have much deeper access to current primetime episodes as well as hundreds of hours of library content. Hulu Plus subscribers also will have access to all the content available on the free Hulu service through any Hulu Plus-enabled device.
“Univision is committed to making the programs Hispanic Americans love accessible anytime and anywhere,” said Tonia O'Connor, president of distribution sales and marketing for Univision. “The demand for Univision's content is tremendous and this will be the first time our most popular programming will be available on the Internet.”
In a blog post, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said the agreement offered Latino users in the United States first-time access to Spanish-language streaming content. Prior to Hulu’s agreement with Univision, the Hispanic community in America did not have a digital distribution service that served top-tier long-form content on demand.
"We are thrilled to be the first service to do this," Kilar wrote.
Hulu, which is co-owned by The Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and NBC Universal, currently is entertaining third-party acquisition bids from suitors such as Dish Network and Google. Kilar said the both Hulu and Hulu Plus saw significant third-quarter jumps in video content offerings, including a 39% increase for Hulu and a 106% jump for Hulu Plus. The Hulu Plus app now is embedded in more than 120 consumer electronics devices.
Separately, Hulu Oct. 3 bowed a new feature called Hulu Ad Swap that allows Hulu users to supplant an ad with another one they are more interested in. Kilar said internal research indicated Ad Swap increased brand recall 93% and intent to purchase 35% among viewers.
"Hulu Ad Swap exemplifies the philosophical difference between selling ads and inventing better ways to serve users and advertisers," Kilar wrote.