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365 Days and Counting: Hulu Launched Publicly One Year Ago Today

March 12th, 2009 by Jason Kilar CEO

At 1:46 a.m. on this day last year, the Hulu service exited beta and was made broadly available in the US. While the Hulu team is going to gather around the taco truck later today and offer a toast or two, we thought it might be fun to also share some stats and photos of our first year with readers of the Hulu blog.

A lot has happened in our first 365 days as a publicly available service, including:

- We’re fortunate to now serve over 24 million users on a monthly basis (source: comScore VideoMetrix, January 2009).

- Hulu’s content library has grown 333 percent, from 12,000 videos in March 2008 to 40,000 videos as of today. Today it includes over 7,100 hours of premium video. If you start watching our library now and kept going, know that you’d be all caught up on the television shows and feature films offered by Hulu by roughly 4:07 a.m. on January 4, 2010. We’ll probably be adding some videos in the meantime, though, so don’t make any breakfast plans for that morning.

- We have grown from 50 content partners a year ago to over 130 today.

- The number of advertising partners we serve has grown in the past year from 30 to more than 175.

- Users are consuming more and more video on Hulu. Nielsen VideoCensus started tracking us in May of last year, and measured us at 63 million streams. Since that time, we’ve grown to 308 million streams in February 2009, nearly a 5x change in that 9-month period.

- Hulu content has been shared quite a bit this past year. To date, more than 3.9 million Hulu players have been embedded across more than 100,000 websites.

- By our estimates, since March 12, 2008, the Hulu team has consumed approximately 2,347 tacos from the unnamed taco truck that parks down the side street from our office. It is uncertain how many antacid tablets we’ve consumed in the same period.

We are incredibly excited by the response that users, advertisers, and content partners have given to Hulu. It is the greatest kick to be able to work with people you both admire and respect, and then, as a team, to doggedly engage to create something special. The whole team here takes nothing for granted, we realize we have so much more to do, and we will always remain appreciative.

Below are some photos of the Hulu team in the 365 days since our public launch. There is regrettably an absence of photos of Peter Chernin, Jeff Zucker, Salil Mehta, JB Perrette, Mike Lang, Dan Fawcett, Jonathan Nelson and Al Dobron. The folks I just listed are the lunatics from Fox, NBC/Universal, and Providence Equity Partners who have consistently stuck their necks way out there for us. Without them, Hulu would categorically not have been possible in the first place. We are lucky to work alongside them. The above crew and the Hulu team walked arm-in-arm during some dicey early days, kept on going, and have emerged OK.

On behalf of all of us, thank you to everyone for an incredibly fun first year. The adventure continues!

Jason Kilar ()
CEO, Hulu

Jason and Eric in Beijing

Just like Ocean’s 11. The above photo is Eric Feng (Hulu’s CTO) and myself in Beijing on July 6, 2007. Eric had just agreed minutes earlier to become the second team member of what was to be named Hulu. He and I also agreed moments earlier to create a Hulu software development center in the city, which persists and thrives today. I ran back to the airport the day after this photo was taken and Eric joined me out in California a week later.

Hulu Launch Night

March 12, 2008. 1:46 a.m. Hulu is available to the public. Minutes after pressing the launch button, the Hulu team gathered for a photo in our southern California headquarters. In the very back with his arms up is Eden Li. Everyone always kids Eden about looking like he is only 12 years old. He’s actually 13.

Brendan dunked

Because that’s the way we roll. March 2008. Here is Brendan Haney getting thrown into the Pacific Ocean at our launch party. Nothing but love, except at this specific moment in time.

Guess who lost a bet

Winner take all, Spring 2008. I don’t recall what the bet was exactly, but I do recall that Rob Post most definitely lost the bet … and his hair.

Sean's Halloween costume

Halloween 2008. This is Hulu team member Sean Chuang, who got dressed up as one of Hulu’s yellow walls on Halloween. As our legal counsel, this guy is our serious face to the outside world.

Andy on the Back Lot

When not scouring the planet to secure great video content for Hulu’s users, Andy Forssell likes to channel his inner Brando here and there. Here he is on the back lot after a meeting with Universal Studios, playing “dead guy in the street.”

Watching a 3D Super Bowl ad

The evil plot is revealed. Super Bowl Sunday in the Hulu offices in California.

Alec in Huluwood

We call him Godfather.

Last comment: Jul 7th 2014 18 Comments
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  • Thank you, Nathan! We really appreciate the compliment, and are happy you’re enjoying our service!

    Happy viewing, Alexa, Hulu Support

  • Nathan says:

    Wow, you guys have come a long way! Congrats on all the success!

  • Ro says:

    When are we going to see Hulu live up to it’s expectations? When are we going to see Hulu do what it’s supposed to do, make every season of every show available whenever we want, without restrictions, over the web and over applications like Boxee? With Ad-Supported content?

    Until that happens, Hulu is just another Mainstream Media failure, and people will instead turn to places like ThePirateBay for the best user experience.

  • Steve says:

    You guys are awesome! Congrat!

  • maureen ruby says:

    from australia.what a wonderful thing you’ve done for the world JASON.thank you!

  • Judy S. says:

    Congrats to the Hulu Team!!!…I have been here since March 2008, and you just continue to get better, and better. Thank you so much for your work, insight into our diverse world, not everyone can watch weeknite shows, so I catch up daily on Hulu, all the great shows I love but would not be able to watch if not for this site. I watch something “everyday” on Hulu now. Thank you to all the networks and all the companies who advertise with you. Thank you also for a great user friendly site. I wish you continue success, and I’ll be here watching!!!

  • Mike Joynt says:

    I also watch more Hulu than regular TV, its the best thing since sliced bread I tells ya. I just wish they had every TV show ever produced since the 50’s that would be awesum! some days I feel like watching Mr. Ed. others Futurama. hehe.

    seriously Hulu rocks! best thing to happen to the internet tubes, well for the public anyway. There is the life saving internet doctoring that goes on thats pretty cool to, but for us regular folks we have Hulu.

  • apoclypse says:

    I’m happy to say that I watch more Hulu than I watch TV. I LOVE THIS SITE! I hope that the future brings more content and more groundbreaking milestones as you move viewers away from stringent schedules with conflicting time slots to being able to watch whatever they want when they want.

  • Stil Waiting says:

    Sigh 1 year old and still not available outside the U.S.A

  • Sid says:

    Congrats guys!
    Can you try to bring back support with boxee now

  • Hurray for Hulu!!

    Now when can we Canadians start to enjoy it?

  • Madsow says:

    Happy Birthday Hulu!!!

    Love the site, I am so addicted.

  • John Z. says:


  • Sarah H says:

    Hooray – couldn’t live w/out it.

  • Samira says:

    Happy birthday, Hulu! Love ya!

  • Congratulations! :-D

  • Fitch says:

    And what won the best clip contest? And where’s the site maintenance notification? And, hello, NASA? How come I can’t get no Tang ’round here? Where’s my spy camera?