Hulu Revenue Jumps 60% In 2011

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Hulu revenue increased 60% to $420
million in 2011, and the over-the-top video site plans
to invest $500 million in content in 2012, the company
said last week.

In a blog post last Thursday (Jan. 12), Hulu
CEO Jason Kilar said the gains came despite
a soft advertising market in the second half of
the year and “materially exceeded our plan.”
Hulu’s owners, including News Corp., Disney and
Comcast, set up an auction to sell the online video site
last year, but ultimately decided it was strategically important
to keep control as alternative viewing grows.

Kilar also said Hulu Plus has reached 1.5 million
paid subscribers, reaching that market faster than
any video subscription service in U.S. history.

“As you might expect, based on the 2011 results
… and our recent launch of Hulu in Japan, we as a
team are very bullish on where things go from here,”
he wrote in the blog. “We have conviction that digital
ultimately becomes the primary way that consumers
across the globe choose to access content.”

He added that because Hulu has added a subscription
component to its business, it is able to pay content
owners higher licensing fees than other online services.

“At scale, our model allows us to profitably pay
content owners approximately 50% more in contentlicensing
fees per subscriber when compared to other
similarly priced online subscription services,” Kilar
said. “We believe our approach will enable us to
secure more valuable content for our users and to secure
content in more attractive windows than would
otherwise be possible. To that end, we are excited to
invest approximately half a billion in content in 2012
on behalf of our users.”

Jon Lafayette is business editor of

Broadcasting &