NewFronts 2015: Hulu Grows Subscriber Base 50%, Adds Original Content & Picks Up Seinfeld
"Hulu is TV," says company's head of sales, setting Hulu apart from line up of digital content providers at this year's NewFronts.
While taking part in this week’s NewFronts event in NYC, Hulu distinguished its offerings from other digital content providers by positioning itself as a television company.
“Hulu is TV,” said its head of ad sales Peter Naylor during today’s event. The company went as far as borrowing its event name – “Hulu UpFront” – from the presentations given by TV networks to introduce new programming.
According to Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins, more than 60 percent of Hulu viewers no longer watch Hulu content on their laptops – instead streaming videos from smartphones, tablets and televisions.
Hopkins said Hulu’s subscriber base has increased 50 percent since last year, growing to nearly nine-million subscribers, with streams up 77 percent during the first 90 days of 2015.
Hulu made a number of announcements around upcoming original content, new ad solutions and the acquisition of exclusive SVOD rights to all nine seasons of Seinfeld, with Jerry Seinfeld taking the stage to announce the big news.
Before bringing out the celebrities to give details on Hulu’s upcoming original series, the head of sales outlined the company’s latest ad solutions, including “Custom Integrated Commercials.” The 30-second spots will pair the Hulu brand with an advertiser to, “…convey a shared brand story that resonates with Hulu viewers.”
Naylor also said Hulu will be launching programmatic advertising and rolling out “Hulu Insights” to offer more data around video and audience metrics.
In addition to Jerry Seinfeld, who closed the show, Hulu’s event featured a number of other stars, including producer J.J. Abrams and James Franco to announce their new series 11/22/63 based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name.
SNL was well represented at the Hulu event with comedian Taran Killam emceeing the show, Seth Meyers talking about his animated series The Awesomes, and Amy Poehler taking the stage with the comedians Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner. Klausner and Eichner are starring in Difficult People, a new show Poehler is producing for Hulu.
Other original series from Hulu will include The Way, Casual and RocketJump: The Show. The site has also entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with AMC Networks to stream shows from AMC, IFC, BBC America, Sundance TV and WE TV.