By Sahil Patel
Hulu will make $1 billion in revenue in 2013, a pretty substantial increase from the $695 million the online video company generated a year ago.
This comes via a blog post from new Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins, who also said that Hulu Plus, the company’s paid offering, topped 5 million subscribers earlier this year. Roughly 50% of those subscribers now stream Hulu content from various connected devices*.
There has been some speculation (especially from us) about how important original content would be for Hulu under Hopkins’ stewardship. While not spending too much time on that topic in the blog post, Hopkins did note that Hulu launched more than 20 originals in 2013, with plans to “double that number” over the next few years. “Shows like ‘The Awesomes, ‘Behind the Mask,’ and ‘The Wrong Mans’ performed extremely well on the service, and were among the top 10 most-watched shows on Hulu each week a new episode aired,” said Hopkins. “We look forward to increasing our overall content offerings, and will continue to invest in last night’s TV, original first-run TV programming, and great library TV from the US and other markets.”
Reading between the lines, and based on conversations VideoInk has had with people in the industry, it appears Hulu’s “originals strategy” will increasingly be paying a small amount to get co-production credit on international shows, which it will have exclusive rights to in the US. For example, “The Wrong Mans,” labeled a Hulu co-production with BBC Worldwide Americas, aired first in the UK on BBC, before arriving on Hulu in the US.
Other things to note from Hopkins’ blog post:
- Hulu viewers streamed more than 1 billion videos each quarter, averaging roughly 50 minutes per session during Q4.
- Hulu’s “roster of advertisers” expanded to more than 1,000 brands, a 15% increase over 2012.
- Hulu may be experiencing an executive exodus, but that hasn’t stopped the company from hiring 140 new people in the second half of 2013. So there’s that.
* Hopkins also said that Hulu Plus is now “accessible” on over 400 million internet-connected devices in the US, including consoles like the Xbox One and PS4, Google’s Chromecast, and Nintendo’s 3DS.