In an interview with CNBC, Hulu CEO Randy Freer revealed that his company’s $40 per month Internet streaming service, Hulu with Live TV, which launched a little more than one year ago, has surpassed 800,000 subscribers. Dish Network’s Sling TV reached 2.3 million customers at the end of Q1, and AT&T’s DirecTV Now has about 1.46 million subscribers. Other competitors in this space include Google’s YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue from Sony, and the sports-focused fuboTV. In total, Hulu has more than 20 million paying customers (half subscribe to the ad-free $11.99 monthly package).
The rest of Hulu’s paying customers opt for the $7.99-per-month SVOD plan (with ads) or the relatively new skinny bundle service, Hulu with Live TV.
Variety reports: “On average, subscribers of Hulu with Live TV are watching more than 100 hours of television per month, according to Freer. Hulu’s average of 108 hours per subscriber monthly — which includes on-demand viewing — is less than the 116 hours per month the average American watched live TV, VOD and DVR programming as of April 2018, according to Nielsen estimates.”
“Freer said he believed Hulu’s on-demand service, which offers approximately 75,000 episodes of TV shows, will continue to attract live TV users and help it compete with its rivals,” notes Engadget. “Along with its successful ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ series, Hulu will soon debut its Stephen King and JJ Abrams original ‘Castle Rock’ and will add Viceland shows and a New York Times documentary news show to its on-demand service.”
Hulu is a joint venture of 21st Century Fox, Disney, NBCUniversal and Time Warner. Hulu with Live TV currently features “51 national cable channels and nearly 600 local TV affiliates,” explains Variety.