Hulu’s subscriber base
Internet service provider Hulu is trying to strengthen its subscriber base to challenge content king Netflix (NFLX). Currently, Hulu is jointly owned by the Walt Disney Company (DIS), 21st Century Fox (FOXA), Comcast (CMCSA), and AT&T (T) following its acquisition of Time Warner.
Disney’s stake in Hulu, which is currently 30%, will double to 60% after it closes its pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which also has a 30% stake in the company. Comcast has another 30% stake in Hulu, while AT&T holds a 10% stake in the streaming service provider.
Hulu’s subscribers compared to Netflix’s
On January 8, Hulu announced that it had added 8 million subscribers in 2018 and that it expects to grow more than it did last year. In fact, according to Hulu’s CEO, Randy Freer, Hulu’s annual subscriber additions of 8 million were reportedly higher than Netflix’s additions in the United States. Netflix added 1.09 million US subscribers in the third quarter, 674,000 in the second quarter, and 1.96 million in the first quarter.
Hulu has a total count of 25 million subscribers in the United States as of January 8, ~47% higher than in the previous year. Hulu’s number of subscribers soared to more than 17 million in 2017, ~42% higher than the 12 million subscribers it reported in mid-2016. In comparison, Netflix reportedly has ~58 million subscribers in the United States only and has more than 70 million international subscribers. Hulu’s wide array of programming starts at $8 per month. Netflix’s plans range from $8 to $14 per month.
Freer believes that Hulu’s streaming service is growing rapidly and has the potential to match Netflix’s subscriber growth. Disney’s 60% control over Hulu after the Fox acquisition could help the company expand internationally and pose a threat to Netflix.