Hulu was founded as a group venture into the streaming industry with business executives Bruce Campbell, Peter Chermin, JB Pernette, Michael Lang, Beth Comstock and Jason Kilar. A private “beta” version of the service was launched on October 29, 2007 and was opened to the general internet public on March 12, 2008. Killar was eventually named chief executive officer in late 2007 and maintained that role for six years.
In its first few years, Hulu offered both free and paid content. Broadcast experts believed they needed to evolve into a subscription-based service, which they did. Hulu would dissolve its free video on demand structure six years later in order to devote itself to a subscription model while also remaining ad-supported unlike other streaming services. Users who want ad-free streaming paid an extra fee.
Hulu began streaming its own original content in 20011. It kicked off the venture with its pop culture news show called “The Morning After”, which was cancelled in 2014. To become who they are today, Hulu had to make some moves.
On April 30, 2009, the Walt Disney Company purchased a 27% stake in Hulu. On October 28, 2011, Hulu inked a five-year deal with the CW, which gave the streaming site access to next-day content from five of the six major networks. The deal ended on September 18, 2016 when CW removed its content to start its own streaming portal.
Hulu announced a multi-year deal with the BBC on September 18, 2013 that delivered 2,000 programs from 144 different shows in the first 12 months. On July 12, 2015, Hulu began offering content from premium cable channels such as Showtime. On June 16, 2016, Hulu expanded its kids programming in a deal with the Disney-ABC Television Group. This deal provided exclusive subscription video on demand rights to past seasons of seven series from Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD as well as more than 20 original Disney movies. You could say they were the original Disney +.
January 4, 2017 saw Hulu ink a deal that provided on demand content access to CBS libraries. April 11, 2018 saw Hulu and Spotify announce a streaming partnership that allows users to bundle the services for a discounted rate. In December 2017, Disney announced they would acquire 21st Century Fox, which included the 30% stake Fox had in Hulu. With the sale finalized March 20, 2019, Disney’s controlling interest in Hulu went up to 60%. A year later, WarnerMedia’s subsidiary AT&T sold its 9.5% stake in Hulu back to the company for $1.43 billion. By May 14, 2019, Comcast also relinquished its control in Hulu to Disney but maintained a 33% stake through NBCUniversal.(www.foxbusiness.com)
During quarantine, I’ve been binging the ‘90’s sitcom Wings on Hulu. I also love that, unlike Netflix, Hulu puts new shows on there platform a day after they originally air. They have a variety of movies also. I look at Hulu as totally different from Netflix instead of a direct streaming competitor. What’s your go-to streaming service?