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A Big 2012.

December 17th, 2012 by Jason Kilar CEO

We are closing on a big 2012. On behalf of the Hulu team, I would like to share some of our results. We’re so thankful to our customers and for the trust they place in us each day, which is enabling us to deliver the below results.

Revenue. In 2012, we will close the year with approximately $695 million in revenue. Hulu’s revenues will have grown over 65%, which is an acceleration over 2011 growth levels. Revenues from our first 5 years:

Hulu Plus. We have more than 3 million paying Hulu Plus subscribers. The number of Hulu Plus subscribers has more than doubled over the past year. Our subscribers from the past two years (we exited private beta and officially launched in November 2010):

In 2012, Hulu Plus was released on Apple TV, Nintendo Wii and Wii U, Windows 8 tablets, and a slew of new Android tablets and phones. Hulu Plus can now be accessed from more than 320 million Internet connected devices in the U.S. (not including laptop and desktop computers). We released next generation user experiences—to great response—across the web, on gaming consoles, and on Android tablets and phones.

Content. Throughout 2012, we aggressively grew our Hulu and Hulu Plus title offerings by over 40%, making us an increasingly valuable partner for our three customers (viewers, advertisers and content partners). We now have more than 430 content partners, providing over 60,000 TV episodes, 2,300 TV series, and 50,000 hours of video on Hulu and Hulu Plus. In 2012, we invested more than $500 million in content. Since the launch of Hulu in October 2007, we have generated over $1 billion for our content partners.

One of the highlights from our 2012 content investment is the launch of Hulu Kids on Hulu Plus. With this launch—and our expanded content partnership with Viacom—Hulu Plus has become the only online video subscription service with current season content from Nickelodeon. Hulu Plus now offers current season episodes from more than 235 of the most popular television series on TV in the U.S., and over 40 series on TV from across the globe…something no other online video service offers. We launched more than 25 Hulu Exclusive and Original Series combined, and signed new agreements with the likes of CBS and WWE, just to name a few. We are extremely proud of the TV series we released in 2012, and are excited about the slate of original series and exclusive series coming to Hulu in 2013.

Advertising. Our advertising mission is to be the world’s most effective video advertising service, and we are well on our way. We continue to expand the number of advertisers we serve. In 2012, we served more than 1,000 advertisers, 28% more than last year. Our advertising service consistently sets the standard in online video advertising, including our practice to only charge advertisers when their ad has been streamed through completion.

Hulu Japan.  Our subscription service in Japan continues to ramp.  Our content offering has quadrupled over the past 12 months. Hulu Japan is now accessible from more than 50 million Internet connected devices in Japan (not counting laptops or desktop computers), thanks to releases on Apple TV, Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and over 40 Android mobile phones and tablets in 2012. As a result of the above inputs, we are attracting paying subscribers to the Hulu service in Japan at a volume that is more than triple our December 2011 levels.

When it comes to building things that matter, most entrepreneurs hope to have the good timing and the good fortune to find and ride (and ideally shape) one massive wave. At Hulu, we are doubly fortunate in that we are at the crest of two massive waves that we believe will persist for the long term: the rise of online video advertising and the rise of online video subscription services.

As we’ve built and grown Hulu since the summer of 2007, so much has changed along the way from building our first website to now generating almost $700 million in revenue this year. There has been one constant, however, which is the Hulu culture; it is what defines us. Ours is a culture of obsessing over our customers, insisting on atypically high quality (to the point that most reasonable people will think that our standards are too high), and relentlessly pursuing better ways in all that we do. For Hulu, culture is the input that matters most.

On behalf of the team, please know how grateful we are to you, our customers, for your belief in us and for the privilege to innovate each day.

Jason Kilar

CEO, Hulu

Last comment: Jan 14th 2018 21 Comments
  • Adam Rose says:

    I love the next day availability and the variety of shows and movies, but i have one problem: my family and I are paying to be able to watch this content but every time I log on the screen says “Try Hulu Plus Today!” I already have Hulu Plus, why wont it let me watch and have what I am paying for??

  • Michele Hays says:

    Who, exactly, do you think your audience is? I like the flexibility of watching Hulu online,but I can just as easily use my television for this content, where the ads are significantly less repetitive and where they run in the spaces the shows have made for them, rather than in random cuts.

    If I were an advertiser and I knew how ticked-off Hulu watchers are about how ads are handled on your site, I would be incredibly upset. I have no problem with my content being paid for with ads, but grindingly repetitive advertisement makes me shun their products out of frustration, rather than being more open to them.

    What’s more, you have the opportunity to target and change advertising and thus offer better service to both your advertisers and your consumers – and you are wildly unsuccessful; even less so than normal online advertising that uses keywords.

    Please change.

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  • Brian says:

    In the beginning, “This show brought to you with ‘limited’ commercial interruptions” actually had meaning. You used to play 4 commercial segments in a 40-minute show. And of those, 3 were 15-second ads, and one was 30-seconds. This made it very easy for me to drop Cable TV. Now, you have 2-minute commercial spots at least 5 times in a 40-minute show. This is about the same as regular TV used to be 10 years ago (seems they are up to close to 5-minutes at times these days).
    Here’s the difference for me now. With regular TV, I have a TiVo that I can skip the commercials with. With Hulu, I am forced to sit and wait. If this keeps up, I will be ending my Hulu subscription in favor of basic cable.

  • Kevin says:

    I have been paying for Hulu Plus for over a year, waiting for you to work with Google TV, which is what I started the service for in the first place. I keep seeing notes that you are working on working with Google TV but instead of that happening I keep seeing headlines about you working with Apple TV and other possibilities. Please give me a reason why I should continue to pay for nothing when all I am really getting is what I can get on standard Hulu or on Netflix of my Amazon Prime account.

  • Billy Ray says:

    Things I love on Hulu Plus:
    Being able to watch a TV show or movie when I want to, on my schedule.
    Being able to watch shows from some of the cable channels (Discovery) that i can’t get since I dropped cable (please sign up more of these).
    Hulu Original Series and Exclusive Series – Bring us more! (especially BBC – Where is Doctor Who? )
    Things I don’t love about Hulu Plus:
    While ads are much less than on commercial networks, there should be no more than 2 at the begining, 2 at the closing and no interruptions during the show.
    “Web Only”: If you pay, you should be able to watch from any supported device. Web only is acceptable for Hulu free.

    I know some of these negatives are due to the IDIOTS running the old-guard broadcast networks. But if you can continue with the BBC and new original series and keep the quality up, you may find that yourself in a better bargaining position.

  • Elija says:

    Hulu has become a joke. I knew this would happen but I was hoping it wouldn’t.
    Instead of the service being an extension of Television broadcast (with a reasonable amount of advertisements) it has now turned into a pay-per-view service, with so many
    commercial breaks that there is more commercial time than show time. the loss, in the mid term and in the long term is Hulu’s. There is so much free stuff to watch online these days, that For all practical purposes, Hulu has become irrelevant. It has also become clear to most above average viewers, that Hulu have become part of the nasty corporate approach to broadcasting – the greedy kind, run by executives that consider the airwaves or the internet for that matter to be private property. It is a seriously delusional approach, with little economic future, despite some short lived positive blips on the stock value monitor.

  • “i pay for hulu plus for what? …commercials….no updated shows..always the same old shows..if you say these commercials are sponsoring and paying for your service, then why am i paying for it to begin with? everyday the same shows are on there..i wait 2-3 days and log back in with my queue having the same crap in it because there is nothing new..and yet you guys make sure you take my money from my bank account right on time every month… i won’t be paying anymore..

  • Brett Birdsong says:

    Congrats on making a lot of money this year. Mostly you made it by lying about what your Hulu Plus service will provide. For instance, I signed up for Hulu Plus because I would be able to watch entire seasons, including back seasons, of my favorite shows. I don’t have a lot of time, and I wind up missing episodes, so I thought it would be worth the subscription. But then I find out that on the shows I actually am interested in you’ve only got the most recent 5 or 6 episodes. Do I feel cheated? Yes. And when I tried to cancel my subscription you offered me one more month for free so I could check it out some more. Well, it STILL SUCKS!!!! And it ISN’T what I was told I would be getting. Watch as your next year’s revenues fall as we subscribers finally find out how to close our accounts. Am I mad? What do you think?

  • I’ve been with Hulu since the beginning, and I’ve tried Hulu Plus twice now. I’m not at all impressed by it. Something has got to change. I wanted to share a few quick thoughts with you as a fan.

    For starters, speaking for myself, I don’t want to pay $7.99 a month to watch commercials. It’s one thing if you have a brief ad before a show, or ads to serve as a bridge between shows in a queue, but nobody wants to pay money to have the same commercial interruptions they get from the free stuff. I would much rather have a free service and be burdened with tons of commercials than to have a pay service with the same inconvenience.

    Additionally, there are several shows I’m fine with watching on my computer for free, that I discovered I couldn’t even watch on my TV with Hulu Plus. Why am I paying for the convenience of watching shows on my TV, when the shows I watch are not the ones available to watch on my TV? I realize that’s a bigger hurdle for you to get over, seeing as the rights for TV streaming are harder to get.


    * No commercial breaks DURING TV Shows or movies. Commercials before and after shows, but not during.
    * New content is available on Hulu Plus first – basic Hulu still gets it, but later. Especially movies.
    * The ability to make your own customizable queue should only be in Hulu Plus.


    * Lots more commercials. I hate commercials, but I’d much rather be subjected to more of them if it means what I watch is free.
    * No queue lines. Only subscribers should get customized queues. The rest of us should have to click around to get what we want next.
    * All the same content, only later, and for limited periods (rotating). The newer movies/shows come to Hulu Plus first. The rest of us have to wait 7 days for shows and even longer for the big theatrical movies. As for the older shows that require Hulu Plus to see entire seasons, every episode should be available to Basic Hulu users, though not all at once. It should rotate to where, say, a particular five episodes (IN THE CORRECT ORDER) of a “classic” show are up on basic for a month, or a week, or so. The series would then rotate through its run by removing those episodes from basic (but still remaining on Plus) . If you REALLY want to see the entire series whenever you want, you need Plus. If you can wait, stick with basic.

  • Gary L says:

    I’m a Hulu Plus subscriber and watch it all the time, mostly on my Roku and sometimes on my Android phone or tablet. Overall, I’m pretty pleased. The commercials have been getting pretty long lately, close to watching regular TV, but at least I can watch it when I like. I’d like to see you bring a Hulu Plus app to Google TV.

  • Jason Shallowhorne says:

    Thanks for providing a SO-SO product. I guess if you are making more money you are successful. Try and listen to your discussion boards more about your commercial breaks. I would like to see less of them. I would not mind paying more for less commercials if I already did not with HULU PLUS. Just saying. It could mean more profits since that’s what is more important here.

  • Joel says:

    Hulu is crap, Why? Because of the amount of time it takes a 30 second commercial to play. IT SHOULD NEVER TAKE 3 MINUTES FOR A 30 SECONDS COMMERCIAL TO PLAY! It is NOT my computer. It is NOT my service provider. IT IS ON HULU’s END. I was a paid customer, but having to pay for a service and have that horrible service of the commercials taking so freaking long as they stop and start and stooooooop and start and stooooooooooop and start until it finishes is inexcusable. It and seems to do it for every commercial. FIX THIS and I will come back as a paying customer. Don’t, and I will tell everyone, both face to face, and on-line just how Hulu is ripping their paying customers off with such crappy service.

  • joe says:

    what needs to happen in 2013 less trash talk make more deals and get more content and put all content from web only to huluplus paid and upgrade interface for huluplus. i keep on paying for your crappy service because i beleave that this service can get better if you had a new ceo but goodluck in 2013!!

  • A. Wurth says:

    I am American and I leave in Serbia. My only complain is that I can’t use Hulu in this country. I hope that with the growth of Hulu you’ll make it possible for us abroad to use your service. Wish you all the best and wish you Marry Christmas

  • Paludicola says:

    Remarkably good performance given the website trouble you had. Any word on fixing the massive hack that hit you a few months ago? You can’t possibly have made the website so awful intentionally.

    Hulu has so much to offer, but does some dumb things that make me use it much less and less willingly than I used to.

  • Ian McCalaster says:

    Are you aware that HULU is Practicing Censorship? As a Hulu Prime subscriber, I am finding many of the TV shows I watch are missing scenes and content completely dropped. I can deal with a pay service that still shows commercials, but I really would like the whole product that I’ve paid for. You are a pizza delivery with pieces missing. Go on Hulu comments and you’ll find that I’m not the only one with this issue. So…..what gives???

  • Jon says:

    atypically high quality == 720p; Jokes aside I would get Hulu Plus if there was 1080p content, and I love the free content.