16 January 2012

On Hulu 2011 Report And What 2012 Could Bring To It

Hulu Logo

As of the 12 of January of 2012, Hulu released an 2011 info report blog post about its progress.


With the two most important facts in CEO Jason Kilar blog post about how Hulu did in 2011 being:

1.- Hulu grew 60% in revenue compared to 2010 and reached a total $420 million in 2011. Something that is around 20% less than it was projected because of Ad Spending and Ad Prices still not fully recovered. Yet still accounting for a 60% growth year over year.

2.- It reached 1.5 million paid Hulu Plus customers. And it is expected that Hulu Plus revenue will be around half of whatever the company gets to make in 2012.

Other not so important, but interesting details were that Hulu felt the need to point out that they are a better bet than competitors like Netflix for content providers because they pay twice as much. And that they also count with a better profitability because of their dual revenue model.

But no doubt that the most glaring bit about this Hulu 2011 report post by CEO Jason Kilar is to boast about how Hulu is planning to spend up to $500 million dollars in content for Hulu during 2012. Figure i found huge considering that it is more than what they made in revenue in 2011. And because it brings out the point to me that they will be going for a very aggressive expansion. 

How i can tell better than those that have reported over this news? I actually use Hulu on a daily basis and have done so since it was in private beta. I have been a Hulu Plus user on an on and off basis too. I Know first hand what they got and add in their index on a monthly basis and how it is working so far. While Hulu CEO Jason Kilar choose very carefully the words in his post. $500 million in Content Investing -- in proportion no less than doubling their spending on that area -- has to lead to more localized versions of Hulu and that probably Hulu is negotiating extending the scope of how the content is going to be served. Hopefully meaning that having and paying for Hulu Plus will finally mean not just having access to content in 720p, but being able to watch it all, regardless of if you are accessing it via a PC or via Mobile.

Why do i think that? 

The amount of money at play is a lot higher than what they spent in 2011. The very same year they not only launched Hulu Japan, but that Hulu content trove exploded with the addition of the Criterion and Miramax movie archive. And in TV it meant the addition of new networks, small content partners and a lot of deals so that Hulu Plus would reach new devices. If that content explosion happened with only $250 million or less. What Hulu cannot do if they are going to put $500 million on the line for 2012.

What 2012 could or should bring for Hulu?

1.-Better Hulu Plus Access

If there is a criticism well deserved to Hulu Plus is that it is a pain to pay for Hulu Plus, only to find out that what you want to watch, you cannot watch on a mobile device. Said it already in this post, but that is worth repeating. As it is an issue that needs to be fixed.

2.- Better Advertising. 

I don't mind the ads in hulu at all. What bothers me is that they are sometimes not well targeted based on what show you are watching and that the Ad serving is dumb as hell. This last part about how on earth on what is a completely smart medium you dare to serve me the very same Ad on the same episode 3 fucking times?

It makes me think Hulu don't has any Ad Intelligence tech or that someone in there is not doing the job right and should be fired and replaced immediately. 

3.- More Hulu Plus Localizations.

Hulu Plus Japan was a great start. Still odd how Japan got Hulu Plus first than Canada and the U.K. If 2012 could bring Hulu Plus to Canada, The U.K, Mexico and Latino America. I think those would be the markets that are the easiest to supply to and open at. Even if that essentially means following on Netflix footsteps. 

4.- More Premium Content.

HBO produced content may be out of the question. But getting more shows from AMC, Showtime, Starz, Space or BBC would be nice. 

5.- More Original Or Independent Content.

Slotting The Confession, buying the rights of more independent movies and producing A Day In The Life were an OK start too. But Hulu really needs a lot more of that, not just to get fresh content, exclusive content but also to be seen as a credible alternative to not just Netflix, but to Basic Cable Packages.

6.- No less than a 50% growth. 

I see Hulu growing no less than 50% over their past mark. Putting them at no less than $630 million in revenue for 2012. With the potential of doing up to $750 million in revenue if things go better than expected.

Oh, And Hulu Owners, Please Do Not Fire Jason Kilar

Because like i said, i use it everyday and want to be able to keep using it. 

The guy has been what has made Hulu work. He gets it. Don't be jerks and ruin it. 


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