Hulu posts strong 2011 results

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 13-01-2012

Leading over the top (OTT) service provider Hulu has revealed a robust set of accounts for the 2011 year despite a challenging economic environment. Over the course of the year Hulu grew its business 60% compared with 2010 resulting in around $420 million in revenue. Shrugging off what it called a soft advertising market, the OTT firm claimed that it still grew aggressively its ad business surrounding the advertising and subscription based Hulu Plus which ended the year with more than 1.5 million paying subscribers. Such growth was described as unprecedented by CEO Jason Kilar who said: "Hulu Plus has reached 1.5 million paid subscribers faster than any video subscription service launch (online or offline) in US. history. We are attracting more than 2x the number of subscribers each day when compared to this time last year." Content was the key driver for growth said Kilar who added that Hulu had "dramatically" expanded the content available to Hulu and Hulu Plus customers. The basic Hulu package's content offering grew approximately 40% compared with a year earlier; Hulu Plus’ content offering grew more than 105%.Going forward, Hulu expects subscription services to account for more than half of its overall business later this year. Furthermore, Kilar identified increased platform availability as another key driver with the company reaping the benefits of investments in the development of apps that offer users to access Hulu Plus from a wide variety of devices such as the Microsoft Xbox 360, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble’s NOOK Tablet, select Android smartphones, LG, Panasonic and VIZIO TVs and Blu-ray players. Looking towards 2012 Kilar expressed optimism for not only the existing packages but also the expansion of the service in Japan and that the company would leverage what he called unique advantages and see a return on investing half a billion dollars in content for 2012. "Our dual revenue stream Hulu Plus business model enables us to compensate content owners much more than anyone else in the online subscription market on a per subscriber basis. At scale, our model allows us to profitably pay content owners approximately 50% more in content licensing fees per subscriber when compared to other similarly priced online subscription services. We believe our approach will enable us to secure more valuable content for our users and to secure content in more attractive windows than would otherwise be possible," Kilar concluded.