The streaming video service Hulu now has more than 28 million subscribers, the company said at its newfront presentation Wednesday morning. Of those 28 million, 26.8 million are paying subscribers, with 1.3 million on promotional accounts.
In January, the company said it passed 25 million subscribers, including those on promotional plans. Hulu is adding roughly 1 million subscribers per month so far this year.
In its first newfront presentation since Disney became a majority owner of the company, Hulu laid out enhanced ad opportunities for marketers, which it now says reaches 58 million viewers.
Following up on its “pause” advertising option, the company announced a binge advertising experience, targeted toward users that binge-watch programming. Hulu will also expand the availability of its pause advertising in August.
Both ad formats are critical to what Hulu ad sales chief Peter Naylor called the company’s “viewer-first advertising principles.” These formats, and others in development, are tailored to Hulu viewers, whether pausing a show to grab a drink, or binging through episode after episode.
In the case of the binge-viewing solution, Naylor told attendees at the event that the "product will allow us to tailor a brand’s message to viewing behavior."
"This can be anything from letting the viewer watch the next episode commercial-free, to a personalized offer from your brand," he added.
Naylor also said that Hulu had begin instituting a new daily frequency cap for ads, limiting them to four runs per viewer per day. Doing so "provides a consistent experience for the viewer, and allows us to refine our ad delivery with sophistication," he said.
On the programming side, Hulu announced two new live-action Marvel shows: “Marvel’s Ghost Rider” and “Marvel’s Helstrom.” Those shows join Marvel’s "Runaways" and the animated franchises that make up Marvel’s “The Offenders” on the streaming platform.
With those pickups, Hulu is establishing itself as the home of the more adult side of the Marvel universe, with Disney+ set to be the home for more mainstream Marvel fare.
Hulu also announced an expansion into original food programming, through partnerships with Vox Media, David Chang’s MajorDomo Media and Chrissy Teigen’s Suit & Thai Productions. Teigen and Chang will host a cooking show, while Vox’s Eater brand will be turned into an original program.
The company has signed a two-year development deal with Teigen, which will go beyond food program into talk shows and scripted.
Hulu also picked up an adaptation of the book “Nine Perfect Strangers,” which will be written by David E. Kelley and produced by Nicole Kidman It is renewing two freshman comedies: “Pen15” and “Ramy.”