Hulu Looks To Take On YouTube And Facebook With Shorter Videos

Hulu, best known for its streaming on-demand service featuring full-length episodes of TV shows, along with a slate of original series, is looking to get into a new business: short-form content.

Speaking at a Variety event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Hulu Chief Content Officer Joel Stillerman said that the company is planning to add what he called “emerging content” to its lineup of originals.

“If you have 15 minutes in your day, it would be things you would open and look at in a way not different from Facebook and YouTube,” he said at the conference.

According to Stillerman, “emerging content” would include shows that feature up-and-coming talent, produced on significantly smaller budgets than prestige shows like “The Handmaid's Tale.” Episodes would be shorter than typical half-hour or hour-long episodes, and could be flexible in terms of timing (after all, why be restricted by 30- or 60-minute blocks when everyone will be watching on demand, anyway?).



Short-form shows published daily could also serve as a driver for viewers to come back each day.

It is a strategy that works well for Google’s YouTube, which counts many “vloggers” as among its most successful creators (Logan Paul notwithstanding).

Facebook, likewise, has emphasized shorter programming on its Watch platform, although the company is beginning to invest in longer, more professionally produced fare.

Earlier this week, Hulu announced it had more than 17 million subscribers, split between its ad-supported and ad-free on-demand service, and its Hulu Live TV service. It also announced it had surpassed $1 billion in ad revenue in 2017. Earlier this month Hulu also announced that it would pick up a monthly anthology horror series from producer Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions.

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