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Springtime in NYC

April 30th, 2013 by Andy Forssell Acting CEO and SVP of Content

For anyone who has anything to do with the TV business, spring means just one thing: Upfronts. Today during the Hulu Upfront, we shared the latest about the Hulu business—including growth metrics, new product innovation and upcoming content—with many of our advertising customers.

Overall, Hulu continues to grow very quickly. In Q1 of this year, we set new records for revenue, and for the first time ever, Hulu viewers streamed more than 1 billion content videos in a single quarter.

Hulu Plus
Subscriptions to Hulu Plus, our ad-supported subscription service, doubled in 2012. Hulu Plus continues to grow at an extremely fast rate; in Q1 2013, Hulu Plus surpassed 4 million subscribers—setting new records for subscriber additions. Our subscribers to date (we exited private beta and officially launched in November 2010):

Mobile viewing is growing at a significant rate and will account for approximately 15% of Hulu’s consumed videos in 2013-2014. For context, mobile viewing was nonexistent on our service only two years ago. Living room viewing is also growing; it currently accounts for 29% of Hulu’s content consumption, and 80% of Hulu Plus subscribers have watched with someone else.

Advertising
Our advertising mission is to be the world’s most effective video advertising service, and we are well on our way. According to comScore, Hulu is #1 in engagement among top ad supported sites. Hulu viewers stay with us for 45 minutes per session—without fast-forwarding or skipping ads. Hulu is also #1 in market share of all premium online video providers, delivering 1 in 3 of all premium video ads in the U.S. Our reasonable ad load drives the highest recall and awareness for brands, which results in higher effectiveness for the video ads.

Content
We are so excited about the momentum and growth Hulu has experienced in bringing new, first run television franchises to our audiences. During the Upfront, we announced two new shows coming exclusively to Hulu:

From writer/director Nancy Hower and writer/star John Lehr, “Quick Draw” is a comedic half-hour western set in 1875 that centers on a Harvard-educated sheriff and his quest to introduce the emerging science of forensics to an unruly Kansas town. Though the citizens of Great Bend, Kansas are generally unimpressed with Sheriff Hoyle’s (Lehr) educational pedigree, they come to appreciate his sharp mind and sharper shooting as he and his reluctant Deputy Eli (Nick Brown) hunt down robbers,murderers, and the dangerous riff-raff that have plagued the town for years. The series is co-created and executive produced by Nancy Hower and John Lehr (“10 Items or Less,” “Jailbait”) and co-executive produced by Keith Raskin (“Key & Peele,” “The League”). “Quick Draw” is coming to Hulu and Hulu Plus in the Summer of 2013, and you can watch a trailer here now: http://www.hulu.com/quick-draw

“East Los High” is not your typical high school.  Dance, sex, romance and mystery are at the heart of thisinner city school in East L.A. where two teenage cousins, Jessie, a 16-year-old virgin, and Maya, a troubled runaway with a violent past, fall in love with Jacob, a popular football player.  With this forbidden love triangle, Maya, Jessie and Jacob, along with their close friends, must face true-to-life decisions throughout a turbulent year that will mark their lives forever. A Hulu Exclusive Series, “East Los High” features an all Latino cast, director, writers and creators—many hailing from East L.A. More than 15 leading public health organizations such as Advocates for Youth, Voto Latino, California Family Health Council and Legacy LA, among others, advised on the scripts and content to address teen issues related to relationships and sexuality in a meaningful way. “East Los High” is the first English-language drama series made for this under served audience.

“Quick Draw” and “East Los High” join the nine other Hulu Original Series and Hulu Exclusive Series that will be premiering as part of Hulu’s Summer Slate 2013, including “The Awesomes,” “Behind the Mask,” “The Wrong Mans,” “Mother Up!,” “Pramface” (season two) “Prisoners of War” (season two), “The Only Way is Essex” (season four), “Braquo” (season two), and “Moone Boy.”

Lastly, we are proud to offer new daily, half hour episodes of two of the longest running, storied, and respected TV franchises: “All My Children” and “One Life To Live.” Both premiered on Hulu and Hulu Plus yesterday.

The entire Hulu team is incredible grateful for the opportunity to build and innovate on behalf of our customers each and every day. Thank you for your belief in us as we continue to build a world-class company.

-Andy

Last comment: about 7 hours ago 38 Comments

Daytime Soaps Are Now Anytime Soaps: Hulu Gets Into Bed with “One Life to Live” and “All My Children”

April 29th, 2013 by Martin Moakler Social Community Manager

Soap operas. We started watching them when we were home from school on sick days and snow days. Then we taped them to watch when we got home from school. Then work. Then we eventually became so invested in the characters, they felt like family.

That’s why we’re thrilled and honored to carry on the tradition with the return of beloved soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” with new episodes on Hulu and Hulu Plus starting today.

We visited the set of “AMC” recently, and it was comforting to see the familiar faces and places — and plenty of new ones — all of whom appeared thrilled that the show was back. One familiar face we saw was Cady McClain, who plays Dixie Cooney Martin, and we asked her what the fans should expect from the much-missed soap. She immediately expressed her gratitude with the ardent fan base.

“I know it was a long wait,” she told us. “I know there have been a lot of ups and downs. I just want to assure the fans that it feels like another era of golden years for this show. It’s truly the best that ‘All My Children’ is and can be again.”

And it’s because Cady is a fan herself.

“I’m very excited and feel super lucky to be here right now,” she said. “The story and sets are incredible. There are so many surprises coming. I can’t wait to watch it myself!”

We realize that some of you may not be familiar with watching shows on Hulu, which is why we created a video where the stars of the soaps educate you on how to watch the shows on both Hulu and Hulu Plus. Once you view that, it will be just like old times, watching old friends in Pine Valley and Llanview—only whenever and wherever you want. Leave the drama for the soaps.

Last comment: about 9 hours ago 33 Comments

Interview: “Living on One Dollar”

April 22nd, 2013 by Kristin Knox

“A lot of films have been made around poverty, a lot of guilt-based films, and we thought we could tell this story in a new way that was really tailored to the millennial generation.”

We spoke with filmmakers Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci about their 8-week experiment in rural Guatemala living on $1 per day, the typical income for this extremely impoverished region. Their inspirational documentary, Living on One Dollar, follows their encounters with hunger, parasites, and the generous local community as they strive to understand first-hand what life is like below the poverty line.

On first entering the Guatemalan community:

“We were four Americans coming into a village where we didn’t have any connections, trying to figure out how to survive, and the kids would come up and just stare at us, watching for hours. It was the kids who really bridged the gap between us and the rest of the community.”

On their living arrangements:

“We lived in a small mud hut and slept right on a small pad on the dirt floor, with two blankets between the four of us. The worst part was that the dirt floor had fleas, and you can see in the film where we’re just covered in red bites. There was one morning where I [Chris] woke up with both giardia [a parasite] and E. coli, and we didn’t know if we had enough money to budget for food, let alone the cost of medicine.”

On farming to help make ends meet:

“We wanted to simulate starting a business in this community, so we took out our own microfinance loan and worked during the day as radish farmers. Trying to do 8 hours of manual labor when we’d only eaten one small bowl of rice and beans, which was all that we could afford, and when we hadn’t had a good night’s sleep, was just debilitating, both physically and mentally.”

On the value of microfinance loans:

“One of the most powerful stories we heard was from Rosa, who is featured in the film. In sixth grade, she had to drop out of school to help feed her family, but she always dreamed of becoming a nurse. As an adult, she took out a $200 microfinance loan to start her own weaving business and was able to send herself back to school with the profits. A $200 loan provided this opportunity for her to empower herself and bring herself closer to her dream.”

On what they hope viewers will take away from their documentary:

“What we hope people walk away with is to believe that small efforts can really make a big impact on the life of someone living in extreme poverty, and to believe that we can all make a difference.”

Living on One Dollar will be available exclusively in the U.S. through Hulu and Hulu Plus from April 22-May 3 to coincide with “Live Below the Line”, an anti-poverty awareness campaign encouraging people around the world to try living for five days on $1.50 per day for food and water.

Visitors to Chris and Zach’s nonprofit site livingonone.org can get involved by learning about or donating directly to microfinance organizations that provide loans in impoverished areas. Schools, churches, and other community groups worldwide can also book a personalized Living on One Dollar screening with the filmmakers to discuss what we can all do to make a difference.

Last comment: about 7 hours ago 9 Comments

Interview: Shira and Jeremy Piven Discuss Their Indie Comedy, “Fully Loaded”

April 1st, 2013 by Katherine Rea

Siblings Shira and Jeremy Piven sat down with us to talk about Shira’s directorial debut, “Fully Loaded,” which Shira’s husband, Adam McKay, and Jeremy worked on as executive producers. This hilarious dark comedy centers around two single moms and an unexpected event that happens in a bar one night in L.A.

Hulu: So “Fully Loaded” was based on a two-woman act at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre?

Shira Piven: Not exactly. [Paula Killen] approached me with the original idea. We collaborated in writing the show, and I directed it. So it debuted at the Upright Citizens Brigade. And from there, we developed the live performance into a film.

Hulu: Shira, the chemistry between the main characters in “Fully Loaded” is palpable. There’s an easy back-and-forth, and the dialogue is really sharp and witty. What do you think Hulu viewers can look forward to most about “Fully Loaded”?

SP: First of all, there are some really cool cameos and musicians. There’s Dave Koechner, “Community’s” Danny Pudi, and “Los Campesinos!” But what’s unique is that it’s really like eavesdropping on two women just talking to each other. And it’s centered around an out-of-the-blue, sexy moment that happens in a bar. But for one of the characters, it turns out to be one of those defining moments in your life when you’re ready to make a change.

Hulu: As kids, did you ever think you’d work together? Were you always close?

JP: Well, I spotted her in gymnastics…[laughter]. We weren’t always close but I’d rather have it this way, becoming closer rather than growing apart.

Hulu: Did you do anything else together as kids?

JP: [Shira] was one of my first acting teachers. She was the first one to really break down for me what acting was….she was very patient.

Hulu: And you both come from an acting family (ed note: the well-known Piven Theatre Workshop was founded by Shira and Jeremy’s parents). Shira, tell me a little about your kids’ acting. Your youngest daughter, Pearl, is in the notorious “Landlord” sketch with Will Ferrell?

SP: Yeah. [Will Ferrell] and Adam (ed note: Shira’s husband, Adam McKay) were trying to get this site (ed note: the hilarious and massively successful “Funny or Die”) off the ground. Pearl was about two at the time, and she’d repeat whatever people said.

Hulu: That video has almost 80 million views on “Funny or Die.”

SP: It was pretty crazy. People approached us about having Pearl be in a Jackie Chan movie! And she was only two!

Hulu: And your other daughter, Lili. Has she acted at all?

JP: Yeah! You know that scene in “Anchorman”? When that little girl says “You’re an awful man, Mr. Burgundy”? That’s Lili and Shira.

Hulu: Would you want your kids to go into acting at all?

SP: No, not really. Of course, I want to encourage them in whatever they choose to do, but it’s a tough industry. And there are so many other great things they could do.

Hulu: Jeremy, you have a new drama premiering on March 31 on PBS: “Mr. Selfridge.” What would you say is the American equivalent of the department store, Selfridges?

JP: It was really the first department store of its kind. [Selfridge] made shopping an experience. He created plays in his window displays. It was his art.

Want more of Shira and Jeremy? Watch “Fully Loaded” here.