Hulu is an American streaming platform jointly owned by three national networks (CBS, Comcast/NBCUniversal and Fox) and, since 2016, by Time Warner (which soon could be part of AT&T). Hulu was created in 2007, ten years ago; it now boasts 12 million subscribers ($7.99/month).
In June 2017, Hulu launched a new live TV service. The service includes the four major legacy networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) and will also give access to parent cable channels: Fox News, ESPN, etc. Fox did not negotiate with its local affiliated stations : instead of local programming, the network will air national programs from Fox channels (Fox News, National Geographic, etc.). Missing, for the time being: Univision and PBS (public TV).
Hulu has also inked a deal with Turner Networks (CNN), A&E Networks (Lifetime, The History Channel, etc.) and Scripps Network Interactive (HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, Newsy).
Of course, it also includes the Hulu SVOD service.
|Six US streaming TV platforms (June 2017)|
New and noticeable features for Hulu Live TV
- Cloud DVR and unlimited number of screens per subscriber ($19.99)
- Episode badging (shows if there is something new to watch)
- Optional commercial free service ($4/ month)
- Up to six individual profiles (personalization algorithm: viewing habits, device, schedule)
- Available on Apple TV, iOS, android, the console Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV but remains unavailable on Roku
- Nielsen includes Hulu viewership in the standard TV rating (C3 and C7)
- Interactivity, local advertising: T-commerce (Brightline platform) will let viewers engage directly with a commercial to locally purchase advertised products.
- Dynamic ad insertion on local level two minutes per hour: Hulu sells advertising pods on cable networks or in the cloud DVR environment (ads in recorded programming)
- Streaming advertising campaigns will be measured using DAR (Digital Ad Ratings, Nielsen: all viewing devices included)
- Campaign effectiveness management with interactive TV platform Samba TV (campaign is extended to all devices - hence crossing devices, de-duplication, programmatic segments, TV DMP) and Nielsen Catalina. N.B. Since May 2017, Samba TV partners with Kantar Millward Brown for a single- source solution (TV advertising effectiveness analytics). Samba TV is a data and analytics company. Holistic measurement across screens.
- Since August 2017, AWS (Amazon) is the cloud provider for Hulu and its cloud DVR (N. B. : AWS provides also Netflix and Amazon Prime Video).
It should be noted that Hulu, as well as YouTube TV, do not profoundly revolutionize TV. Both carry the same commercial networks, the same programming. Hulu counts mainly on Nielsen for advertising management. In fact, the six streaming services mentioned in our chart are but a kind of MVPD (Multi Video Programming Distributor) : is Hulu competing against cable operators? Don't Hulu and YouTube only make news with old stuff? The only true innovation comes from Samba TV.