Hulu says 2015 will be a ‘break out year’ in the US as streaming platform challenges television

Mike Hopkins speaking at today's Newfronts

Mike Hopkins speaking at today’s Newfronts

Ad supported streaming service Hulu has vowed to make 2015 its ‘break out year’ after the company increased its subscriber base by 50 per cent in the last 12 months.

Speaking at the Newfronts in New York overnight CEO Mike Hopkins told a room full of media buyers how total streaming hours were up 83 per cent to 700 million on the previous year, as the company goes head to head with traditional TV networks but and streaming rivals like Netflix which has some 40m US users.

“Things are already paying off, we are growing faster than ever before,” said Hopkins. “In just one year our subscriber base has grown 50 per cent to nine million subscribers… 2015 is the year that Hulu will break out.”

While the service is not available in Australia it is thought it could be a model which is reproduced by a local player, in a bid to offer alternatives to Stan, Presto and Netflix.

Today’s event saw Hulu announce it had secured the exclusive subscription video on-demand (SVOD) rights to all episodes of iconic sitcom Seinfeld, as well as a new, multi-year agreement with AMC that grants Hulu the streaming rights to future programming from AMC Networks.

In his pitch to brands Hopkins noted that total streams of video were up 77 percent in the first 90 days of 2015 but viewers streamed more than 700 million hours, an 83 percent jump from the previous year.

“Streaming has become so socially relevant that the New York Times recently listed Hulu among television’s new ‘establishment’. That achievement is incredible when you consider we are only seven years old,” he said.

“Things are moving fast and we think that’s terrific. Competition leads to innovation greater innovation, better story telling, more content and more choice for consumers.

“Consumer are taking advantage of this revolution in choice. While Hulu began on the computer, today it has a new home in the living room.

“More than 60 per cent of Hulu subscribers no longer watch Hulu on their computer. They choose to watch on the best screen available – when they are out they are on the phone or tablet and when they are at home its the TV in the living room.”

 Jerry Seinfeld speaks onstage at the 2015 Hulu Upfront Presentation. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Hulu)

Jerry Seinfeld speaks onstage at the 2015 Hulu Upfront Presentation. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Hulu)

The company was also excited to trumpet the rights deal for every episode of the comedy Seinfeld which it clinched shortly before its presentation.

“There’s no question that Seinfeld has played a major role in TV history, which is why we cannot wait to make all episodes of the series available to stream for the first time ever on Hulu,” said Craig Erwich, head of content for Hulu.

“Whether you are an existing fan who just wants to relive your favourite moments over and over again, or are a new viewer who wants experience Seinfeld from the very beginning.”

Nic Christensen in New York.



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