Interview Synopsis

Hulu – subscriber & retention trends

  • Public Equity
  • TMT
  • North America

The video streaming market is growing apace but getting crowded, with factors including digital advancements and consumer behaviours also influencing the competitive landscape.

Hulu’s subscriber growth trajectory and other video streaming trends

Third Bridge Forum spoke to the former Senior Product Manager at US-based Hulu LLC about the company’s operating environment and wider industry trends, with bundling emerging as high on the agenda. As consumers face the reality of managing a growing roster of subscriptions, companies are introducing additional services within their own offerings to provide greater value and make their initial product stickier.

However, there are some caveats, as seen in the example of Spotify Premium’s essentially free subscription to Hulu’s ad-supported plan earlier this year. For an ad-driven company like Hulu, what it charges isn’t necessarily the most important aspect. If users aren’t actually using the product — which may be the case if the service is an add on to another product — they won’t be as profitable.

Taking a closer look at the ad-supported revenue model, the specialist said if “perfect” ads can be delivered to users in a way that doesn’t annoy them, there are huge opportunities to be had. The definition of an ad is set to continue to evolve to the point where consumers are much more comfortable with the concept — and, crucially, benefit from them.

Meanwhile, interest in live television is slowly waning, with the exception of high-profile tentpole events like sports and awards. Although it can be a real differentiator, it is expensive and highly competitive. Many industry players are figuring out whether it is viable to continue investing in live services which are difficult to manage and not necessarily where growth is focused. 

Hulu has big ambitions for growth, aiming to reach 40-60 million paid subscribers by 2024, compared to its current 28 million. Finding new partnerships and expanding its international footprint will be key to maximising success. In terms of the company’s biggest uncertainties or challenges today, the specialist cited the growing popularity of short form content and the proliferation of independent creators and influencers, as well as trends around social television consumption in the digital age.

To access all the human insights from Third Bridge’s Hulu – Subscriber & Retention Trends Interview, click below to view the full transcript. 

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The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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