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Gauging Hulu’s Subscriber Growth

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Hulu had 17 million subscribers at the end of 2017

Hulu—a joint venture between Walt Disney (DIS), Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA), and Comcast (CMCSA)—announced on Wednesday, January 10, that it had 17 million subscribers in the United States as of the end of 2017, compared with its 12 million subscribers in May 2016.

The streaming company also said that its annual ad revenue had hit $1 billion for the first time in the company’s history. Hulu’s total audience was 54 million unique viewers in 2017, and its on-demand library has now more than double the numb er of episodes available than any other SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) service—including Netflix and Amazon.

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Hulu is still way behind Netflix

However, Hulu is still far behind Netflix (NFLX), which is the undisputed leader in the segment. The former is around one-third the size of Netflix in the United States.

Netflix had a whopping 52.8 million subscribers as of September 30 and is growing at a robust pace abroad as well. Meanwhile, Hulu’s 17 million subscribers also include Live-TV subscribers. Still, Hulu’s user growth remains healthy.

If the Disney Fox deal goes through, Hulu could see some changes in its management, because Disney would own 67% of the streaming company, while Comcast would own only 33%. This could leave Disney CEO (chief executive officer) Bob Iger in charge of Hulu.

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