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Thank you for a very big 2009

December 30th, 2009 by Jason Kilar CEO

As we wrap up the year here at Hulu HQ, I’d like to send – on behalf of the whole Hulu team – a very big thank you to our customers. It is our customers that make Hulu possible and it is our customers that have enabled this service to thrive in 2009.

As a business, we were extremely fortunate in 2009. Some highlights:

- Monthly users of Hulu, as measured by comScore, grew to over 43 million, a 95 percent increase over this time last year.

- Monthly streams, as measured by comScore, grew to 924 million, a 307 percent increase from this time last year.

- Hulu’s content library doubled over the past year. We now offer over 14,000 hours of premium content, up from 5,600 hours at this time last year.

- We grew from 130 content partners last year to over 200 today, which includes the addition of Disney/ABC content.

- The number of advertisers/marketers we have served has more than doubled, growing from 166 to 408. As a team, we are extremely excited about the atypically strong results we have been able to drive for our marketing partners.

- 6.4 million Hulu video players were embedded across the web in 2009, a 237 percent jump from 2008 levels. To date, Hulu players have been embedded on over 207,000 websites.

- Some of the more prominent consumer-facing innovations from 2009: Hulu Desktop, Captions Search, Continuous Play, Tags, and the ongoing innovation hub that is Hulu Labs.

- Our search service managed nearly 1 billion search queries in 2009, up 175 percent from 2008.

- The five most popular shows on the service in 2009:

- Hulu’s most embedded video of 2009 was the live stream of Barack Obama’s inauguration.

- The most popular clip on Hulu in 2009 was “Motherlover“, a Saturday Night Live Digital Short.

- The most popular full episode on Hulu in 2009 was Family Guy’s “Stew-Roids.”

- Our customers had a lot to say about us in 2009, and we listened carefully. Some of the more colorful comments (via Twitter):

  • BradMays: If Hulu.com truly is an evil alien plot to take over the world…I’ve already been assimilated.
  • andrewjmay: Dear Hulu, This has been on my mind for a while now, but tonight is the night that I let you know my true feelings….I love you.
  • kiki_miserychic: I’m getting a coffee from McCafe tomorrow because Hulu told me to do it. My brain is liquidy slush.
  • Tiffanyasapun: found Hulu.com and my feet hurt. Those 2 are unrelated.

- Hulu was fortunate to receive a number of awards over the last year, including being named the World’s 3rd Most Innovative Company (Fast Company, March 2009), being included in TIME magazine’s Top 50 Best Websites, and ranking among the Top 5 fastest rising Google search terms.

We recognize that what we are aspiring to do is extremely ambitious and filled with considerable risk. But that has always been the nature of this pioneering journey. We have incredible conviction both in our product vision and in our customer obsession. We believe that customers deserve to have a service that enables them to find and enjoy the world’s premium content … when, where, and how they want it. We are resolute in this mission and are here to make it a reality.

On behalf of the Hulu team, thank you for joining us in the adventure that was 2009 and we look forward to even greater heights in 2010.

Jason Kilar ()
CEO, Hulu

P.S. Some “behind the scenes” moments at Hulu in 2009:

Foiled Again
Our head of distribution, Pete Distad, walked into his office earlier this year to find that it had been aluminum-foiled.

Great Wall
Some of Hulu’s hard-working, kick-butt developers taking some time off near the Beijing Development Center.

Huluween
Hulu has a come as you are dress code … even if that means you are a garden gnome or Manny Ramirez.

Poolside photo op
The Hulu team hanging out by the pool on the set of the upcoming If I Can Dream television show.

Golf Fashion 101
Summer 2009: our first annual Hulu team golf tournament. Given that we are all horrendous at golf, we decided to instead keep score based on style.

Black Jack Tacos
We tend to get passionate about our marketing partners’ businesses. Here is some of the team product testing a new Taco Bell product.



Super Bowl 2009
The Hulu crew catching a 3D commercial during the Super Bowl … minutes before Hulu’s evil plot to destroy the world was publicly revealed.

Don't touch those glasses
Catching an 18-minute sneak preview of Avatar months ahead of the film’s theatrical release.

Last comment: about 17 hours ago 15 Comments
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  • Seattle Meredith says:

    Wow, truly amazing stats. Way to go Hulu!

  • wendy kennedy says:

    What about Canada? Can’t anyone help us join the 21st century?

  • stevie long says:

    thx jason for hulu: BUT kinda curious why you’ve listed most popular show, clips, and embeds, yet completely left out MOVIES. because i want to thank you, as hulu has made an arty indie film “Strictly Sexual”, directed by independent spirit award winner Joel Viertel, the most popular movie of all time on hulu— Millions of viewers get exposed to ecclectic indie films that normally viewers would not have normally seen.

    so PLEASE, keep the INDIE MOVIES coming, and give them a lil’ shout out at year end, huh?

    thanks to hulu, and the millions of viewers who watched the tiny indie film i wrote.
    stevie long

  • Ric says:

    I think you are doing fantastic work at Hulu, creating a professional YouTube engine for premium content with copyright holder consent has been by far one of the smartest plays into the new media landscape.

    If you are interested in tackling the P2P and BitTorrent networks, can I direct you to Hyper MP. It’s a ready made solution thats designed to securely monetize a huge audience over these networks.

    Keep up the good work, and I hope to more interesting work from Hulu in 2010.

  • Mustafa Kaya says:

    aluminum-foiled office is good :)..i wish succes Hulu next years..

  • arnoldo says:

    I love the fact that you guys keep adding classic and new series. As someone with a film major, and more of a television/cinema lover than scholar, I love the new different ways to enjoy international series like Naruto and One Piece without having to download it illegally as it was the way people did it before. The fact that the subtitles are also accurate helps more and more fans to watch their shows through HULU. I especially love it because I work nights and therefore am unable to watch my shows during regular time and end up watching them at 8am the next day through HULU. Keep up the great work! :-D

  • Pete says:

    Alexandra – I think it was made into a tin foil ball and may have inadvertently been tossed by the cleaning crew later in the year. I will check, if it hasn’t..we will see what we can do ;-). Thanks for being a hulu fan! -pete

  • Hats off to an incredible run. However soon you’ll have to worry about profitability and I wonder as you are pressured to place more ads per episode if your high “advertising recall” will remain, effectively challenging your $60 CPM. I have to commend your commitment to the USER EXPERIENCE, even if it is at the cost of profitability. I look forward to watching you navigate the profitability challenge in 2010. Good luck!

  • Chinmay Shah says:

    Congratulations on your success! I would suggest only one thing, do try to make this website available all over the world and not just in US.

  • Keith says:

    What a waste of resources to wrap everything with aluminium foil! I wonder what happened to them after they were “unwrapped” …

  • Jerry Mineweaser says:

    Bob Lanham is one of the few guys that can even wear knickers and furthermore in pink. What a guy!!!

  • What did Pete do with all the tin foil? Our giant tin foil ball, who is obviously a huge fan of Hulu, would love to have it… He shows his Hulu love here: http://twitpic.com/vxqmj

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