US premium streaming service Hulu has added 8 million subscribers in 2018 and closed its fiscal year with more than 25 million total subscribers across its SVoD and live TV plans.
The milestone marks a 48 per cent subscriber increase year over year and catapults Hulu’s customer reach beyond that of the country’s largest cable and satellite pay-TV providers.
“Consumers have spoken loudly about their desire for more choice and control in their TV experience. They are seeing the enormous benefits of streaming, they’re deciding which content and brands are most important to them, and they’re choosing Hulu,” said Hulu CEO Randy Freer.
“In 2018, Hulu led the industry in attracting and engaging subscribers, building a powerful technology stack and cultivating a brand that both consumers and advertisers love. Looking ahead, Hulu is in the best position to be the number 1 choice for TV – live and on-demand, with and without commercials, both in and out of the home.”
One of the more notable viewing trends Hulu saw in 2018 was that consumers place a great deal of value on having a comprehensive, flexible viewing experience. Viewers who subscribe to Hulu + Live TV actually spend 50 per cent of their time watching on-demand or recorded programming. To fuel its momentum, Hulu invested significantly in securing exclusive content and enhancing its streaming technology to support a superior experience across its live and on-demand plans.
Over the past 12 months, Hulu’s technology and product teams dramatically improved the stability and usability of its Live TV service (Hulu + Live TV), reducing buffering by 90 per cent and introducing new features such as live game start notifications and an enhanced channel guide so viewers can get to their favouurite content faster. The company also expanded its local affiliate support to over 970 local live stations.
In addition, Hulu added more choice to its content packages in 2018 with the launch of STARZ as its fourth premium content add-on (joining HBO, Cinemax and Showtime) as well as eight live Discovery networks and a new Spanish-language live TV add-on, which includes live programming from ESPN Deportes, Universo, CNN En Español and History Channel En Español.
Other Hulu 2018 highlights include:
2018 marked Hulu’s largest-ever gains in signups and total subscribers, and the most advertising revenue in the company’s history. In 2019, Hulu says it will take full advantage of its momentum and capitalise on the massive opportunity ahead to become the #1 choice for television.