Research: Hulu appeal lessens
December 2, 2022
Hulu users, including paid subscribers and unpaid users, are less likely to turn to the service for viewing network TV shows than they were in previous years, according to data from Kagan’s US online Consumer Insights surveys.
Results show that the decline of users indicating they most enjoy prior seasons of network TV series on Walt Disney Co.’s Hulu, which fell from 26 per cent in 2020 to 19 per cent in 2021, was not a fluke, as that number dipped further to only 18 per cent in 2022. Users indicating that they most enjoyed current seasons of network TV were also down from 25 per cent in 2021 to 19 per cent in 2022.
This decline is most likely as a result of the availability of this content on other services such as Paramount Global’s Paramount+ and Comcast Corp’s Peacock. The largest share of Hulu users chose original TV programmes as the content they most enjoyed at 25 per cent, while other originals rose from 10 per cent in 2021 to 14 per cent in 2022.
- Kagan’s US Consumer Insights survey showed that current season network TV, which used to be the most widely viewed content type on the service, is down with the rest of the content types at 50 per cent of Hulu users.
- The decline in those who most enjoy current season network TV series was among both recent and long-term subscribers of the service.
- Frequent Hulu streamers (at least once per week) were more likely to most enjoy original TV programmes and current seasons of network TV series compared to infrequent streamers.
In terms of viewing these content types, most have remained flat over the years while current and prior seasons of network TV series have both undergone steady declines. Although current season TV rose back up to 59 per cent in 2021, viewership of this content dropped down to 50 per cent in 2022, bringing it in line with prior seasons of network TV and recent movies, both at 51 per cent.
Original TV programmes and other originals were the most enjoyed content for larger shares of recent (within the past year) and long-term (over a year) subscribers compared to free access (received as part of another subscription) and shared log-in (used a log-in from a family/friend) users. Free access users were the most likely to indicate they most enjoy prior seasons of network TV at 21 per cent, and older movies at 14 per cent, compared to other users. Free access and shared log-in users were a little more likely to most enjoy the current season of network TV series, both at 22 per cent, compared to recent and long-term subs at 17 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively.
Infrequent users were more likely to most enjoy prior seasons of network TV series at 22 per cent and older movies at 14 per cent compared to frequent users at 17 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively. Conversely, frequent users chose original TV programmes at 26 per cent and the current season on network TV at 20 per cent as content most enjoyed, compared to infrequent users at 20 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.
Original TV programmes was the most enjoyed content by an increasingly larger share among older users, from 20 per cent among Gen Z to 31 per cent among boomers/seniors. The largest share of those who most enjoy the current season of network TV was among millennials at 21 per cent, along with other originals at 17 per cent. Gen Z had the largest share indicating they most enjoy recent movies at 16 per cent and older movies at 12 per cent.