According to a study conducted by Qwilt, a provider of online video delivery and caching solutions, as of March 2014, Netflix was the leading online video streaming services provider in the country with a 57.5% market share. A year ago, Netflix had 52.5% of this market. YouTube came in a distant second with market share falling from 28.2% a year ago to 16.9% as other online video services eat up into their share. Amazon’s video streaming service saw viewership share grow from 0.6% to 3.0% and Hulu’s share climbed from 1.5% to 2.8%.
Hulu seems to have put aside all plans of going public for now and is instead focused on improving their operating metrics. Hulu’s recent investments in content have helped them grow their subscriber base. In a recently held Advertiser and Media meet, Hulu’s management reported that the company now has a total premium subscriber base of 6 million members, compared with 4 million a year ago. Hulu Plus is now available on more than 400 million Internet-connected devices in the United States.
Further details of their financials or user base were not disclosed. Hulu had crossed $1 billion in revenues last year. They now have nearly 520 content partners, compared with 470 a year ago. Their library includes 72,000 hours of content, 91,000 TV episodes, 3,080 TV series, and 4,900 movies. Hulu’s earlier investments in development of original content are also delivering strong results. Their original series Behind The Mask was nominated for an Emmy award earlier this year.
Hulu’s Advertising Expansion
Besides content, Hulu is also focusing on expanding their advertising offerings for improved monetization. Their user statistics reveal that Hulu viewers spend an average of nearly 50 minutes per session on Hulu on desktop and they stay on Hulu for longer stretches than any other ad-supported premium video site in comScore’s top 100. As part of their advertising solutions, Hulu recently announced three new features. The first, In-Stream Purchase Unit, will be launched later this year with Pizza Hut and it will enable viewers to make an order for pick-up or delivery from within the Hulu environment. Hulu will be able to place targeted ads and will allow viewers to resume watching their videos from where they left off once the order is placed.
The second one is known as the Cross Platform Interactive ad, which will be launched this summer with Corona Extra. Advertisers will be able to offer targeted interactive ads across multiple platforms, including living room and mobile devices. Finally, Hulu 360 Ad will leverage their rising mobile viewership and deliver innovations across mobile platforms powered by a leading 360 design company Immersive Media.
Hulu’s Subscriber Growth
Hulu is also driving mobile expansion, and during the summer, Hulu will also begin delivering a few ad-supported full TV episodes on mobile devices– for free. Till now, users were able to access Hulu’s free service only on the desktop site. Additionally, they will release an upgraded iOS app for their services.
Additionally, Hulu is also growing the number of devices which enable streaming of their services. Recently, they announced the availability of Hulu Plus on Amazon’s Fire TV. Hulu believes that while mobile is a strong growth aspect, nearly 60% of their content consumption is still derived from living room viewing. Adding Amazon Fire TV to their line-up will help address this viewership. Features for the FireTV app include simple navigation through larger and more vivid artwork, tray-style format for easy scrolling, an updated search experience, intuitive controls and access to Hulu Kids.