Hulu’s new vision: Television distribution
SVOD service will roll out a service streaming cable and broadcast
May 2, 2016
Hulu has long been seen as the No. 3 subscription video-on-demand service, an afterthought behind Netflix and Amazon, despite (or because of?) its deep ties to the TV industry—it is co-owned by Fox Broadcasting, ABC Television Group and NBCUniversal.
The service has struggled to find a signature show a la Netflix’s “House of Cards” or Amazon’s “Transparent.” Though it’s offering more and more original content, Hulu is still largely seen as the place for repeats, an image only enhanced by last year’s big-budget pickup of “Seinfeld.”
So today’s news that Hulu plans to offer a new service with cable and broadcast streaming is big, not just for media generally but in signaling a possible change in direction, or at least a diversification, for the SVOD service.
Hulu is expected to outline the details of the new service, first reported in The Wall Street Journal, at its Digital Content Newfronts presentation on Wednesday.
The service is apparently designed to appeal to cord cutters, with the same type of “skinny bundle” that many cable and satellite distributors have begun offering in recent months.
These include a small number of channels at a low price, to counter complaints by many in the younger generation that they don’t want to pay big dollars for a bunch of channels they never watch, stuck in with the ones they do.
The New York Times reports the service will cost $40 per month. Clearly, with Fox, ABC and NBC behind it, those three networks and their cable subsidiaries will be available in the new service.
Advertisers may find the new service mighty attractive if Hulu can fulfill its promises. Word is it will offer highly targeted commercials that speak to a niche demo. For instance, if an advertiser sells baby food, the ads would be shown only in homes with babies.
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