Hulu’s investment in original content
Hulu has spent billions of dollars on original content to build its subscriber base amid competition from streaming giants like Netflix (NFLX), Amazon’s (AMZN) Prime Video, and other live TV services.
Hulu also reportedly spent about $2.5 billion on content in 2018, the same as in 2017. In comparison, Netflix spent $3 billion on original content in 2014 and invested more than $8 billion on original programming in 2018. Amazon spent more than $4 billion on original content in 2018.
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Disney’s control over Hulu
Walt Disney (DIS) had a 60% stake in Hulu after the acquisition of Fox assets. Disney recently received greater control over Hulu after AT&T (T) sold its nearly 10% stake in Hulu to Comcast (CMCSA) and Disney, according to the joint venture agreement.
Hulu is already making four adult animated series from its Marvel Studios, featuring Marvel superheroes. Though AT&T has sold its stake in Hulu, it’s expected to deliver content to be streamed on Hulu’s platform. Hulu will continue to offer original series like the Handmaid’s Tale and Castle Rock to its users.
Disney, which recently unveiled that it is launching its streaming initiative on November 12, also wants to expand Hulu’s premium content to other international markets, as Hulu will complement Disney’s direct-to-consumer streaming line-up and would add to its revenue stream. Disney also has plans to target adults with Hulu’s content, whereas the upcoming Disney+ service will be aimed at kids and families. Disney’s ESPN+ will target sports lovers.