Representing a growing threat to traditional pay TV services, Hulu will close out the year with more than 3 million paying subscribers for its Hulu Plus service -- more than doubling over the last 12 months -- and will pull in about $695 million in revenue, according to CEO Jason Kilar.
The privately held company is 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,” Kilar wrote in a blog post Monday.
Hulu Plus, which costs $7.99 per month, provides access to current-season shows and older series from networks including ABC, NBC and Fox, with past seasons of CBS shows set to be added to the service in January. Hulu Plus is the only online video subscription service with current-season content from Nickelodeon.
The Internet video site is owned by NBCUniversal, News Corp. and The Walt Disney Corp. Last year, Hulu’s owners had been in discussions about selling the company. Those reportedly in talks about a possible deal included Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon Communications and Amazon.com.
In 2012 Hulu’s revenue will have grown by more than 65%, up from $420 million last year, which is “an acceleration over 2011 growth levels,” Kilar noted. In 2012, Hulu served more than 1,000 advertisers, 28% more than in 2011. Kilar said the company charges advertisers only when their ads have been streamed through completion.
Over the course of the year, Hulu and Hulu Plus title offerings grew 40% and the company invested more than $500 million in content acquisition, having launched more than 25 exclusive and original series and signed new agreements with media companies including CBS and WWE, according to Kilar.
Hulu now has more than 430 content partners, providing 60,000-plus TV episodes, 2,300 TV series and 50,000 hours of video. Since Hulu launched in October 2007, “we have generated over $1 billion for our content partners,” Kilar wrote.
The Hulu Plus subscription service is available across a range of devices, including game consoles, connected TVs and Blu-ray players, tablets and smartphones.