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The $8 per-month subscription service, which has been exceeding growth forecasts, had ended 2011 with around 1.5 million users. The company expects Hulu Plus revenue to account for more than half of its total in 2012, according to the paper.
The Times also previewed a Hulu event for advertisers this coming Thursday in New York that is part of online companies’ version of upfront ad week. Hulu will pitch advertisers on its original programming, particularly new series, it said. Executives will also promote the site’s young demographic.
But like Netflix, Hulu has faced challenges to its acquisition of TV shows, including from its entertainment conglomerate owners News Corp., Walt Disney and NBCUniversal. At the Hulu board level, “there is disagreement about the amount of investment necessary to acquire content for Hulu Plus,” the Times quoted a TV executive as saying.
“The bulk of our business is working with those big media companies, and they’re going to make choices based on how they see the whole ecosystem evolving,” said Andy Forssell, Hulu’s senior vp of content at Hulu.
Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, in New York this week, said his content deal with Hulu for his show A Day in the Life gave him greater control than he would have gotten in the traditional media world. And in a contribution to the pay TV cord cutting debate, he said his friends are beginning to use online video options like Hulu instead of pay TV. “A lot of friends of mine have already started to give up their cable subscriptions,” he said.
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