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Hulu Launching Documentary Unit

4 May, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

SVOD service to hit 12 million subs this month

Hulu May 4 said it is bowing Hulu Documentary Films, a new unit that acquired domestic streaming rights to Ron Howard’s latest film, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week. The SVOD service, co-owned by The Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox and Comcast, made the announcement at an upfront presentation in New York.

The service also announced its subscriber base has grown more than 30% year-over-year, and will reach 12 million domestic subs later this month.

Launching in theaters and on Hulu this fall, Eight Days a Week is based on the The Beatles’ early career (1962-66). The doc explores how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to become a cultural phenomenon — including how they made decisions, created their music and built their collective career together.

The film, which worked with McCartney, Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, will focus on the group’s days at The Cavern Club in Liverpool to their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966. The doc is Hulu’s first licensing deal with Apple Corps Ltd.

“Over the past year, we’ve propelled Hulu by adding an extraordinary array of original series, broadcast and cable shows and movies to our content portfolio,” CEO Mike Hopkins said in a statement. “In 2016 … we’ll expand our offering with more premium content and brand new ad measurement products.”

Indeed, Hulu announced a partnership with BrightLine to be the first streaming service to offer interactive advertising. Unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Hulu offers subscription plans with-and-without ads. The interactive ads will launch this summer.

The service also revealed a collaboration with Nielsen to capture OTT viewing in the living room for the first time. Hulu said it would be the first comprehensive ad measurement in the home for Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV and other Hulu-enabled streaming devices. Through the pact, Hulu said it would have the capability to deliver measurement of viewership data beyond the PC for advertisers.

Concurrently, the service announced a partnership with market research firm Millward Brown. The pact includes studies, research papers and stats, including brand affinity metrics for marketers and advertisers across OTT viewing environments.

Finally, Hulu picked up critically-acclaimed drama series “The Path” for a second season, as well as comedy series “The Mindy Project” for season five, among other content.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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