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Hulu hits 1m subscribers

September 22, 2011

Hulu now has more than one million paying subscribers, Chief Executive Jason Kilar has told a Goldman Sachs conference. He confirmed that it reached that milestone at the end of the summer and the site is now on its way to easily exceed that number by year’s end.

Hulu launched a subscription tier last November and has since added more content from partners including Viacom and Hollywood studio Miramax. It also carries content from co-owners News Corp, Disney, and Comcast NBC; they and fourth owner Providence Equity Partners have put the service up for sale.

Kilar said user reaction was entirely determined by the content deals they were able to do – and the same goes for other OTT services like Netflix. In turn this depended on their business models, he said Hulu would spend $375 million on content this year, the company has previously forecast it will turnover $500 million in the year.

Some programmers have been reluctant to do major US deals with Hulu due to concerns that it might undercut their relationships with pay-TV distributors. CBS for instance has refused to supply, though it si doing so for the new Hulu Japan. “I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll work with everyone over time,” Kilar said.

The business was put up for sale with a target price of $2 billion but recently some sellers are reported to be thinking again if the timing is right. Chase Carey COO News Corp hinted they might hold back when News Corp results were announced but Disney confirmed the process was still ‘a go.’


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