Hulu Posts Big Revenue In 2012

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In 2012, Hulu grew revenue 65% to reach approximately $695 million, the premium streamer said Monday. Among other factors, CEO Jason Kilar attributed the site’s success to better content and more ad partners.

In 2012, Hulu grew its ad partnerships by 28%. “Our advertising service consistently sets the standard in online video advertising, including our practice to only charge advertisers when their ad has been streamed through completion,” Kilar said Monday.

Throughout the year, the company also grew its title offerings by over 40%, bringing its content partners to around 430, which altogether now serve some 60,000 TV episodes, 2,300 TV series, and 50,000 hours of video on Hulu and Hulu Plus.

Even more impressive, Kilar said Hulu Plus now has more than 3 million paying subscribers -- more than doubling its base year-over-year. In 2012, Hulu also said it invested more than $500 million in content.

Questions about the company remain, however. Even before Providence Equity Partners officially sold its stake in Hulu in October, there was wide speculation regarding the future of the video venture, and its ability to attract quality content. Easing such concerns, CBS Corporation agreed in November to a non-exclusive, multi-year licensing agreement to stream programs on the Hulu Plus subscription service.

In addition to CBS, recent content deals with World Wrestling Entertainment -- and the expansion of its partnership with Viacom to include Nickelodeon content -- suggest Hulu is moving in the right direction.

Last month, comScore reported that Hulu saw its viewership number fall sharply in 2012, including a 58% drop to 65 million hours viewed in August. The research firm, however, attributed the decline to a “refinement of tag collection mechanisms,” as well as a broader enumeration change.

Meanwhile, Nielsen reported that Hulu -- excluding Hulu Plus -- saw unique monthly visitors decline to 12 million in August from 19 million last December.

Originally purchased in 2007 for $100 million, Providence Equity sold its 10% share back to co-owners News Corp., Comcast and Disney for $200 million last month. The deal valued Hulu at $2 billion. With the divestment, top Hulu executives whose shares have already vested should now have the option to cash out of the company.

Sources told Variety over the summer that CEO Jason Kilar could cash out at close to $100 million, at which point he would likely leave the company.

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2 comments about "Hulu Posts Big Revenue In 2012".
  1. Daniel Smith from Videology, Inc. , December 18, 2012 at 9:33 a.m.
    It has taken some time, but it seems as if Google's "Seward's Folly" is paying off. Hat's off to them.
  2. Mark Mclaughlin from McLaughlin Strategy , December 18, 2012 at 7 p.m.
    Revenue grew 65% while viewership fell 58%. The can only happen if the buyers are not paying attention to the most fundamental forms of media measurement. "View to completion" is not all that valuable if the reach is tiny. When are the real media strategists who are expert at audience metrics going to start taking the lead when it comes to brand advertising online?