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Hulu: Advertising & Audience

bbender - May 13, 2015 - 0 comments

Finding high-end advertising sources can be difficult in a market filled with dishonest traffic creators & low end “news” sites. So today we take a moment out to dig into the value Hulu has in the market place & what we as advertisers can expect to get from the growing audience.


If you’re an early adopter, you might remember Hulu was sort of the best thing ever when it came out. Hot on the heels of loads of illegal content sites, Hulu came out of nowhere with out much marketing for the first few years. Hulu was created by Beth Comstock, Jason Kilar in 2007 (though the content power came from ABC, Fox, NBC, and the CW). was launched online in 2008. There was no massive push, no buzz. Hulu simply launched the site & for those who had spent the last 4 years downloading ripped TV shows, it was a good year. So lets talk about Hulu’s audience & coming changes to the platform that will effect you as an advertiser.



Of the 4.7 million monthly visitors (2014 stat) on Hulu, Comscore says 65 ads per person is what Hulu gets out of their monthly viewers. For the light user I imagine that is true. However for those who have gone full digital for their entertainment, Hulu provides one of the best direct to consumer models for today’s popular TV shows. That’s a fact that translates into heavy usage per user. On the flipside of the data, 9% of U.S. households are actually paying for Hulu (read: Hulu eliminating the Hulu Plus brand for its paid service). Taking into account that Hulu (paid version) allows a user to view content the day after its released on TV, gives you a clearer picture of what a Hulu user really looks like.


Hulu isn’t cheap, at-least not like Youtube and thats to be expected. Your advertising on the new “prime time” in the digital space. We can’t openly state costs as they are constantly changing but you can imagine the costs landing in the same ball park as general ad coverage on major TV platforms. At this point we are only seeing companies with deep pockets advertise on Hulu.


Here is a quick fact sheet as of 5/15:

  • Paid subscriptions are up to nearly 9 million.
    (Netflix has 60 million global, 40 million U.S.)
  • 9 million subscribers x $7.99/mth…$71.9 million in revenue
  • Viewers streamed over 700 million hours in Q1, an 83% increase from last year.

So thats Hulu, the king of direct to user TV shows (and a terrible movies). Be on the look out for heavy competition coming in later 2015. HBO (HBO Go) will soon offer similar subscription packages for its highly sought after content. Many others in the industry are following as well, but like HBO there may be little to no pre-roll advertising offered. Soon subscriptions will be how we choose our content providers.


We’ll leave you with a commercial from Hulu, marketing the start of it “global” dominance in the market.