Hulu’s Subscriber Additions Beat Netflix in Q1 2018



Hulu’s subscriber additions in Q1 2018

Disney (DIS), 21st Century Fox (FOXA), and Comcast (CMCSA) each hold a 30.0% stake in Hulu, and Time Warner (TWX) holds a 10.0% stake in the streaming company. Hulu reached a US subscriber base of 20.0 million in the first quarter of 2018. 

Hulu added 3.0 million subscribers from the fourth quarter of 2017, which it reported in January. This increase allowed Hulu to pass its biggest streaming rival, Netflix (NFLX), which added 2.0 million subscribers in the quarter. However, Hulu still lags behind the Netflix’s overall subscriber base of 55.0 million in the US.

Hulu’s efforts to grow its subscribers

Hulu’s 20.0 million subscribers include users of various categories such as its core ad-supported service, Hulu’s No Commercials service, and Hulu with Live TV. The company also partnered with Spotify in April, under which Spotify’s premium subscribers can access Hulu’s ad-supported services for a $13 per month. Hulu’s partnership with Spotify is expected help boost Hulu’s subscriber base.

Hulu is also planning to add advertising to its Live TV subscription, as well as to its downloadable content. Both efforts are expected to boost the company’s revenues.

Investment in original content

Like tech giants Amazon, Apple, and Netflix, Hulu is expanding its market for online video by making a massive investment in original content. In 2017, Netflix spent ~$6.3 billion on original programming, according to data from MoffettNathanson. 

Amazon spent $4.5 billion on original and acquired content in 2017. Hulu invested $2.5 billion in content in 2017, while Apple and Facebook each allocated around $1.0 billion last year to spend in new content.

Hulu recently announced the third season of its dystopian original breakout hit, The Handmaid’s Tale. Hulu also signed a multiyear deal with Dreamworks Animation to create original kids’ and family series.

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