At the Digital Content NewFronts in New York City this week, Hulu revealed that its streaming video service now has 26.8 million monthly paid subscribers in the U.S., plus 1.3 million promotional accounts. That’s an increase from about 20 million total users this time last year. Hulu announced a new “binge advertising experience” that intends to be a less intrusive way to target binge viewers. Hulu also detailed new content deals, including a multi-year partnership with Vox Media Studios for food-centric programming and two new live-action series from Marvel for 2020.
According to The Verge, the upcoming series — “Marvel’s Ghost Rider” starring Gabriel Luna and “Marvel’s Helstrom” — will “join ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ and the slate of animated Marvel shows that the two companies also recently announced.”
“Though Marvel owner Disney is preparing to launch its own direct-to-consumer streaming service later this year,” reports TechCrunch, “Disney’s majority ownership of Hulu is proving to be an advantage as it can shift some of the more adult-oriented Marvel properties to Hulu, instead of the more family-focused Disney+ streaming service.”
Vox Media Studios has teamed with chef David Chang’s Majordomo Media and Chrissy Teigen’s Suit & Thai Productions “to develop and produce a slate of premium, original food-driven programming for Hulu,” explains Vox Media. The partnership “launches Hulu into original food programming for the first time.”
In addition to new content deals, Hulu introduced a new approach to targeting ads for binge viewers. The “binge advertising experience,” according to TechCrunch, “is the second non-intrusive format Hulu has developed — the first being the ‘pause ad’ that only appears when you press pause. These will roll out to more advertisers in August.”
The new binge ads are expected to “allow advertisers to target just binge watchers with creatives that are ‘situationally relevant’ to their viewing behavior,” adds TechCrunch. “Hulu says it will have more to share about binge ads later this year, but we’re hearing that the idea is that the brand’s ad has to be somehow tailored to the viewing experience — for example, an opportunity to watch the next episode commercial-free or a personalized offer.”