Hulu Expands Original Content, Boasts 6 million Hulu Plus Subscribers


By Meredith Blake

Los Angeles Times


NEW YORK — At its upfront presentation Wednesday in New York City, the online streaming service Hulu touted its aggressive expansion into original programming and its continued acquisition of top-rated network and cable series.

These expansions come as the subscription-based Hulu Plus reached 6 million subscribers, up from 5 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

After introductory remarks from “Saturday Night Live” star Cecily Strong, who joked that Hulu finally made it possible to “watch TV the way it was meant to be watched — at work,” CEO Mike Hopkins announced plans to quadruple Hulu’s investment in original programming over the coming year.

The service will expand its slate of originals with “The Hotwives Orlando,” a “Real Housewives” parody starring Casey Wilson and Angela Kinsey premiering in July, and “The Next Step,” a reality-style drama about a group of dancers at an elite studio premiering in May.

In addition, all five of the original series launched in 2013, “Moone Boy,” “East Los High,” “Quick Draw” and “The Awesomes,” will be returning, as will the supernatural comedy “Deadbeat,” which debuted on the service in April.

Hulu, which streams seven of the top 10 series in prime time, has also beefed up its library of acquired content, scooping up exclusive rights to a library of comedy and reality titles from NBCUniversal, including “The Mindy Project,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “The Real Housewives” franchise, in April.

The service also struck a deal in February for exclusive subscription video on demand rights to some 5,300 episodes from the CBS library, including current series “Blue Bloods” and “Elementary” as well as old favorites “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Survivor.”

Before the audience of advertisers and media buyers, senior vice president of sales Peter Naylor also plugged the service’s appeal with younger viewers. Some 82 percent of Hulu users are in the advertiser-coveted 18 to 49 demographic, compared to just 32 percent for traditional network TV.

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