on by in Advertising, Best of 2012

(The ten best dramas of 2012 will be revealed on Hulu’s homepage each weekday of this week. To view the rest of the list, click here.)

7 – The Walking Dead

Is there any show more shocking than The Walking Dead? With the amount of characters that have ended up dead this year, we consider ourselves lucky that we survived. We know that shows about dystopian futures where the undead walk the earth aren’t supposed to be laugh riots, but this year who knew how much the show would make us hate the living?

Over Seasons 2 and 3 this year, we saw the group who had worked so hard to remain civilized in their hopes that the zombie plague soon shall pass just lose it, and revert to their basest instincts…and we loved it. Outsiders were not to be trusted, but neither were people you thought you knew. We knew that Merle had unresolved issues in which the group played a hand (We couldn’t help it. We’re sorry), but who expected the down spiral and ultimate demise of Shane? For a moment we thought that civilization could thrive again when we saw the idyllic community of Woodbury, but the Governor has issues, not to mention aquariums filled with zombie heads and his zombie daughter locked up in a closet, and we doubt Andrea can change him. Sorry, Andrea.

And who could have seen the deaths of two of the most vital characters: Dale, the show’s moral compass, and Lori, the show’s chief loser of Carl? When Rick passed out after learning of his wife’s death, it became clear that no one was truly safe anymore, all bets are off and what hope does any one of the survivors truly have?

And then there were the walkers! First of all, how cute is it that every new group we encounter has a different name for the zombies? We look forward to a time when we meet a group who calls the zombies “The Fergusons” as a dark inside joke they refuse to share with Rick because he won’t let them stay in the prison. Secondly, we remember way back in the beginning of Season 2 how our friends complained about the lack of zombie attacks, but the undead are now back in full squirming effect. We seriously have not been able to sit still while we fruitlessly attempt to warn the characters about the zombie about to attack them to the point that our cat is concerned.

Well, that’s one of the reasons our cat is concerned, but that’s for another time.

The more we watch The Walking Dead, the more we can’t help comparing it to Lost. Hear us out. Both shows have groups of strangers thrust together in a world that no longer makes sense to them, in which survival becomes paramount. But while we spent six seasons of Lost learning more and more about the island, with each new season of The Walking Dead, we learn more and more about humanity and the depths to which it will descend in the undead face of the Armageddon, which, we’re learning, is more satisfying…not to mention more helpful should the zombie apocalypse happen. We’re just kidding…when the zombie apocalypse happens.—Martin Moakler

on by in Advertising, Announcements

We are closing on a big 2012. On behalf of the Hulu team, I would like to share some of our results. We’re so thankful to our customers and for the trust they place in us each day, which is enabling us to deliver the below results.

Revenue. In 2012, we will close the year with approximately $695 million in revenue. Hulu’s revenues will have grown over 65%, which is an acceleration over 2011 growth levels. Revenues from our first 5 years:

Hulu Plus. We have more than 3 million paying Hulu Plus subscribers. The number of Hulu Plus subscribers has more than doubled over the past year. Our subscribers from the past two years (we exited private beta and officially launched in November 2010):

In 2012, Hulu Plus was released on Apple TV, Nintendo Wii and Wii U, Windows 8 tablets, and a slew of new Android tablets and phones. Hulu Plus can now be accessed from more than 320 million Internet connected devices in the U.S. (not including laptop and desktop computers). We released next generation user experiences—to great response—across the web, on gaming consoles, and on Android tablets and phones.

Content. Throughout 2012, we aggressively grew our Hulu and Hulu Plus title offerings by over 40%, making us an increasingly valuable partner for our three customers (viewers, advertisers and content partners). We now have more than 430 content partners, providing over 60,000 TV episodes, 2,300 TV series, and 50,000 hours of video on Hulu and Hulu Plus. In 2012, we invested more than $500 million in content. Since the launch of Hulu in October 2007, we have generated over $1 billion for our content partners.

One of the highlights from our 2012 content investment is the launch of Hulu Kids on Hulu Plus. With this launch—and our expanded content partnership with Viacom—Hulu Plus has become the only online video subscription service with current season content from Nickelodeon. Hulu Plus now offers current season episodes from more than 235 of the most popular television series on TV in the U.S., and over 40 series on TV from across the globe…something no other online video service offers. We launched more than 25 Hulu Exclusive and Original Series combined, and signed new agreements with the likes of CBS and WWE, just to name a few. We are extremely proud of the TV series we released in 2012, and are excited about the slate of original series and exclusive series coming to Hulu in 2013.

Advertising. Our advertising mission is to be the world’s most effective video advertising service, and we are well on our way. We continue to expand the number of advertisers we serve. In 2012, we served more than 1,000 advertisers, 28% more than last year. Our advertising service consistently sets the standard in online video advertising, including our practice to only charge advertisers when their ad has been streamed through completion.

Hulu Japan.  Our subscription service in Japan continues to ramp.  Our content offering has quadrupled over the past 12 months. Hulu Japan is now accessible from more than 50 million Internet connected devices in Japan (not counting laptops or desktop computers), thanks to releases on Apple TV, Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and over 40 Android mobile phones and tablets in 2012. As a result of the above inputs, we are attracting paying subscribers to the Hulu service in Japan at a volume that is more than triple our December 2011 levels.

When it comes to building things that matter, most entrepreneurs hope to have the good timing and the good fortune to find and ride (and ideally shape) one massive wave. At Hulu, we are doubly fortunate in that we are at the crest of two massive waves that we believe will persist for the long term: the rise of online video advertising and the rise of online video subscription services.

As we’ve built and grown Hulu since the summer of 2007, so much has changed along the way from building our first website to now generating almost $700 million in revenue this year. There has been one constant, however, which is the Hulu culture; it is what defines us. Ours is a culture of obsessing over our customers, insisting on atypically high quality (to the point that most reasonable people will think that our standards are too high), and relentlessly pursuing better ways in all that we do. For Hulu, culture is the input that matters most.

On behalf of the team, please know how grateful we are to you, our customers, for your belief in us and for the privilege to innovate each day.

Jason Kilar
jason@hulu.com
CEO, Hulu