With the instant critical and viewer praise for The Handmaid’s Tale, the attitude was upbeat at the Hulu presentation at Upfronts. In addition to Handmaid’s Tale, the streaming network announced the big acquisition of the SVOD rights of This is Us and Atlanta, two of the biggest hits of the last year.
The network paraded many series stars at the presentation including Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, and Alexis Bledel from The Handmaid’s Tale, Jeff Daniels from the upcoming The Looming Tower, and J.J. Abrams who is behind the adaptation of Stephen King’s Castle Rock. Mindy Kaling and Sarah Silverman also arrived on stage to promote their comedies.
While Hulu is gaining notoriety for their original projects, the bulk of viewers are looking to catch up on shows that don’t stream anywhere else. By gaining This is Us and FX’s Atlanta, Hulu just added two of the most talked about series from the past year. On the originals side, it was announced that The Handmaid’s Tale has received a season two order, and Marvel’s The Runaways and The First, from House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, have both received series orders.
Last year, Hulu bragged about its 12 million subscribers, but just as YouTube and other streaming nets have had to look less and less at subscribers and shift to views, so has Hulu. In their presentation, Hulu cited having 47 million viewers and 35 million through its ad-supported service.
The bulk of those millions of viewers are watching through their television sets, leading to Hulu teaming with BrightLine for e-commerce, creating interactive ads where Hulu viewers can purchase movie tickets through their connected TVs. Since the average viewer was said to be 33, and the average household income of $84,000, which is a target demographic for the e-commerce features.
Emily J | TV Editor