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.
The trends in time-shifting and on-demand video consumption among millennials have led to drastically different audience skews across media. With a median age of 33, Hulu viewers are significantly younger than broadcast TV and DVR viewers. And Hulu’s growing 18-34 audience expands the reach of popular TV series.
The Good Wife is a great example. On air only 6% of that show’s audience is A18-34, on Hulu, it’s 44%. Even younger-skewing shows, like Jane the Virgin, show huge growth in their A18-34 audience on Hulu. Our service complements TV’s unmatched scale and delivers this valuable audience that is becoming increasingly difficult to reach.
Connected devices are driving this shift in how millennials watch TV. Marketers see the need to reach this audience and will continue to allocate budgets to reflect where their customers are watching. And Hulu offers marketers a brand safe environment with premium content to help do just that.
Reach out to your Hulu sales rep at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how you can effectively reach this audience.
Viewability is a huge topic of discussion in the advertising industry. We are increasingly living in an age of accountability and marketers are – rightly – demanding more for their advertising dollars. The great news for Hulu’s ad partners is that we’ve long been known for a high standard of accountability given that we only charge for fully completed ad views.
Recently we partnered with industry leader MOAT to track viewability on Hulu and the results show that Hulu’s metrics deliver the gold standard of publishers. In fact, video ads on Hulu deliver 92% viewability, 80% above the MRC industry benchmark.
As a company well-positioned at the intersection of technology and entertainment, Hulu has always made the viewer experience our top priority. Our video player was designed to be the hero of the viewing experience making viewability inherent across every screen.
We encourage marketers to continue to raise the bar on how, where (and even if) their ads are truly being seen. And our standards of viewability and the fact that we only charge for ads viewed to 100% completion shows our dedication to offering maximum impact for our advertiser’s brands.
To hear more from Mike Hopkins, CEO and Peter Naylor, SVP of Sales, check out their interviews below.
“We’ve seen just nothing but good news coming out of the viewability debate.”
“We don’t do auto-play video. We promise brands that [our viewers] will watch full 30-seconds ads.”
Today, we are excited to introduce Watchlist, a new, easier way to keep track of your favorite content on Hulu.
Whether you’re watching great daily shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a guilty pleasure like Jane the Virgin, re-watching a favorite like The X-Files, or even checking out a classic film from the Criterion Collection, there’s so much great content to watch on Hulu. On the product team, we’re always working to make it easy to sit down and watch your favorites without having to think about where you left off in each.
Currently, you can do this with our features like Queue and Favorites, or by going straight to your Shows You Watch tray – but with Watchlist, we’re making it even simpler. We’ve taken the best aspects of these three features, and turned them into a single, smarter place to keep track of your content. The result is a Hulu experience that is easier and more personalized than ever before, that’s easily accessible across all your devices.
Watchlist makes it easy to save any episode, clip, movie or show that you’d like to watch later. Simply add it to your Watchlist by clicking the “+” button on PCs, iPhones, and iPads or the “add to Watchlist” button on gaming consoles, connected TVs and set-top boxes and Android devices. When you start watching a new show, future episodes will automatically be added to your Watchlist.
Watchlist dynamically tailors the order of your content to match how you watch TV. Shows that have new episodes or shows you’re binging on will be prioritized in the Watchlist order over shows or movies you haven’t started yet. Watchlist even learns from you, and gets smarter over time. The more content you watch on Hulu – the more personalized Watchlist will become. For example, if you always watch the latest episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine the moment it’s available each week, Watchlist will make sure it’s the first thing you see. When you get caught up on that, the next show you’re watching will make its way to the front.
Since Watchlist knows exactly where you are in each show, we’ve made it easier than ever to start watching. On your PC, iPhone, or iPad you will see your next episode shown in your Watchlist tray so you can start watching with just one click. The new Play All button on living room devices lets you sit back and be taken through all the content in your Watchlist.
Watchlist is currently available on Hulu.com, iOS and Android phones and tablets, Apple TV, Roku players and Roku TV models, PS3, Amazon Fire TV & the latest Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players. Over the coming months, we’ll be working bring Watchlist to many other devices too. Everyone will be updated to Watchlist later this year but you can get it now by going to Hulu.com/getwatchlist.
We hope you’ll love Watchlist as much as you love all the shows in it. Get it today, and be sure to let us know what you think!