Today at the Hulu Upfront Presentation in New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom, our CEO Mike Hopkins, Head of Advertising Sales, Peter Naylor and SVP Head of Content, Craig Erwich, took the stage to announce landmark deals, overall company growth and our new slate of Hulu Originals alongside our talented cast & creators, as well as a very special surprise guest.
Saturday Night Live’s Taran Killam hosted the event and was joined by Hulu Original talent including 11/22/63’s J.J. Abrams and James Franco; Amy Poehler, Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner from upcoming comedy series Difficult People; Casual’s Jason Reitman and Zander Lehmann; The Way’s award-winning executive producer Jason Katims; Star and Creator of Hulu Original The Awesomes, Seth Meyers; and RocketJump’s Freddie Wong. Plus, at the end of the show, legendary comedian and star of one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, Jerry Seinfeld, joined Craig on stage to officially announce that Hulu has acquired the exclusive subscription video on-demand (SVOD) rights to all episodes of Seinfeld.
In addition to acquiring the streaming rights to Seinfeld, Hulu also announced a new, multi-year agreement with AMC that grants Hulu the streaming rights to future programming from AMC Networks.
We’re excited about the huge year ahead for Hulu – from our growing library of full seasons of hit series exclusive to Hulu, to even more premium original programming that we know our audience will love. Here are a few updates from the company today.
Company Updates Announced at the Hulu Upfront
Since launching seven years ago, Hulu continues to grow from all sides of the business. Today, the company announced that its subscriber base has grown to nearly nine million subscribers, a 50% increase in subscriber base since 2014. Within the first 90 days of 2015, total streams have increased by 77% and, in that same period of time, viewers have already streamed over 700 million hours of premium content on Hulu. On average, each Hulu viewer is watching at least 30% more content.
Hulu Becomes the Exclusive SVOD Home to all Episodes of Seinfeld
Hulu’s SVP, Head of Content, Craig Erwich was joined by iconic comedian Jerry Seinfeld on stage at the Hulu Upfront to announce that Hulu has acquired the exclusive SVOD rights to all episodes of the award-winning, hit series Seinfeld. After becoming one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, all nine seasons of the timeless comedy series will make their SVOD debut exclusively on Hulu.
The series comes to Hulu in a new deal with Sony Pictures Television. Every episode of Seinfeld will be available for Hulu subscribers to stream this June.
An Emmy and Golden Globe winner for Best Comedy Series, Seinfeld is one of the most popular, most award-winning and longest-running comedy series of all time. Jerry Seinfeld stars as a stand-up comedian whose life in New York City is made even more chaotic by his quirky group of friends who join him in wrestling with life’s most perplexing, yet often trivial questions. Often described as “a show about nothing,” Seinfeld mines the humor in life’s mundane situations like waiting in line, searching for a lost item, or the trials and tribulations of dating. Co-starring are Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Jerry’s ex-girlfriend and current platonic pal, Elaine Benes; Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Jerry’s neurotic hard-luck best friend; and Michael Richards as Jerry’s eccentric neighbor, Kramer.
New Exclusive Licensing Agreement with AMC Networks Inc.
Hulu announced a groundbreaking, multi-year deal with AMC Networks Inc. for the exclusive SVOD rights to new and upcoming primetime scripted comedy and drama series from AMC, IFC, BBC America, Sundance TV and WE tv. The new agreement will make Hulu the exclusive streaming home to the highly anticipated companion series to The Walking Dead, titled: Fear the Walking Dead. Through the deal, Hulu will – over time – become the SVOD home to a diverse and comprehensive collection of AMC Networks Inc.-produced content.
Hulu will also become the streaming home for a significant number of films from the IFC Films collection.
Full seasons of future series produced by AMC Networks will be available to stream exclusively on Hulu following their network season runs.
Hulu announced a new advertising solution for marketers called the custom integrated commercial. With custom integrated commercials, Hulu will create custom :30 second spots that strategically integrate the values of a marketer’s brand with the values of the Hulu brand. These custom spots will convey a shared brand story that resonates with Hulu viewers.
Over the next few years, Hulu will roll out Programmatic Ad Buying, a new service that will combine Hulu’s data to that of a brand’s in order to provide even more effective targeting solutions. Programmatic advertising capabilities on Hulu will utilize media automation and data to build advertisements into the most effective series, episodes and time slots. This will allow Hulu to target the right ad to the right user at the right time.
In its first-ever deal with a cable or satellite provider, Hulu announced that it would soon be available to Cablevision Optimum customers. Optimum is the first cable provider to announce plans to provide its customers with access to Hulu’s comprehensive catalog of content. The deal will make Hulu accessible directly to Optimum subscribers in the New York area. Pricing and availability date will be announced in the near future.
Hulu’s commitment to becoming more accessible to viewers, across more devices, will continue to be a priority in 2015 and the company will roll out on several providers beginning this summer through additional MVPD deals.
Hulu Originals Slate
- Premiere date: 2016
- Cast: James Franco, Daniel Webber, Lucy Fry, Sarah Gadon, Chris Cooper, Cherry Jones, George MacKay, Leon Rippy and Brooklyn Sudano
- Crew: Executive Produced by J. Abrams, Stephen King, Bridget Carpenter and Bryan Burk
- Synopsis: Nine-hour limited event series based upon the best-selling 2011 novel written by Stephen King. 11/22/63 is a thriller in which high school history teacher Jake Epping travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy — but his mission is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, his falling in love and the past itself … which doesn’t want to be changed.
- Premiere date: Summer 2015
- Cast:Julie Klausner, Billy Eichner, Andrea Martin, James Urbaniak, Gabourey Sidibe, Cole Escola
- Crew: Executive Produced by Amy Poehler and Dave Becky. Created by Julie Klausner
- Synopsis: Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner star as best friends living in New York City. Their typical, irreverent behavior lands them in some very awkward situations.
- Premiere date: 2015
- Cast: Tommy Dewey, Michaela Watkins
- Crew: Executive Producer / Director Jason Reitman, Writer / Creator Zander Lehmann, Producer Helen Estabrook
- Synopsis: Casual follows the story of a dysfunctional family with a bachelor brother and his newly divorced sister. Together, they coach each other through the crazy world of dating (on-line and off), while living under one roof again and raising a teenager.
- Premiere date: Winter 2015
- Cast: TBD
- Crew: Executive Producer Jason Katims, Creator / Writer Jessica Goldberg, Producer Michelle Lee
- Synopsis: The 10-episode drama series examines a family at the center of a controversial faith–based movement struggling with relationships, marriage and power. Each hour-long episode will take an in-depth look at what it means to choose between the life we live and the life we want.
RocketJump: The Show
- Premiere date: Fall 2015
- Cast: Freddie Wong and the RocketJump team
- Crew: Created / Produced / Written by Freddie Wong and the RocketJump team
- Synopsis: Each half-hour episode of the comedy series will chronicle the filmmaking behind RocketJump’s newest short. The eight full episodes will be released on Hulu on a weekly basis and the newly-created shorts will premiere on Hulu.