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In September 2015, Hulu launched a $12-per-month subscription option that allows purchasers to remove ads from their viewing experience. As it turns out, one of the major groups that influenced the development of that service was Twitter users. According to Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins, who spoke at New York’s GroupM Next conference on October 28th, the new subscription option was created in part to mitigate the number of complaints the streaming service received on social media.
As Hopkins tells it, the “ad avoiders” constituted “a smaller but vocal group” when compared to the users who don’t mind ads on their videos. As Hulu employees browsed Twitter, they found a large number of perturbed tweets from the ad avoiders, and that negativity “was bad for the brand.”
In studying Hulu’s recent projects, it is easy to see how this negative Twitter volume damaged the brand’s image. For example, »
- Sam Gutelle
A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. When longtime Fox distribution executive Mike Hopkins took over as Hulu CEO in 2013, the first question employees asked was: "When are you building yourself an office?" Hopkins was the suit hired at the startup-like Hulu to replace firebrand founding CEO Jason Kilar, who departed after clashing with corporate owners 21st Century Fox, Disney and NBCUniversal. But Hopkins, 46, has avoided the executive suite and adopted a standing desk amid his 940 employees (though
- Natalie Jarvey
Hulu, in its quest to outpace the TV libraries of its competitors, has brokered a significant streaming deal with a major media corporation. It has announced a pact with Viacom through which it will gain exclusive streaming rights to several programs, including recent Emmy winner Inside Amy Schumer.
The deal renews a 2011 partnership between Viacom and Hulu while also “adding more premium content than ever from [Viacom’s] popular family of networks,” said Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins. Beyond Inside Amy Schumer, which features its titular star in bawdy sketches, Hulu has also gained access to the recently-concluded Key and Peele (which is known for its big viewership on YouTube) as well as a couple of shows derived from web series: Broad City and Drunk History.
Hulu will also be the exclusive streaming video home for shows from other Viacom networks, such as MTV and Nickelodeon. In total, the streaming rights to at »
- Sam Gutelle
Hulu has doubled the amount of content it is licensing from Viacom, with an expanded pact giving the Internet TV service exclusive subscription VOD rights to all past and future seasons of Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Key and Peele,” along with other shows.
Other titles exclusively on Hulu under the multiyear agreement include: Comedy Central’s “Broad City” and “Drunk History”; MTV’s “Faking It” and “Finding Carter”; and Nickelodeon’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Rabbids Invasion” and “Sanjay and Craig.”
Since Hulu inked its first significant deal with Viacom in 2011, “our relationship has only grown,” said Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins. “Today, we are not only extending our deal, but we are adding more premium content than ever from their popular family of networks.”
The new Viacom series will be available only to Hulu subscribers, either on the $7.99 monthly plan with ads or the $11.99-per-month ad-free option »
- Todd Spangler
Cannes– Jim Packer, Lionsgate’s president of worldwide TV and digital distribution and Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins interviewed each other on stage at Mipcom and shared perspectives on original programming and global expansion.
Asked about whether Hulu was prepping to launch internationally, Hopkins said Hulu was currently evaluating the market. “It’s a growing market with increased broadband access, there is an array of devices around the world and great original programs being produced,” noted Hopkins. “It’s definitely compelling.”
Hopkins also said Hulu was looking to ramp up its commitment to original programming and “be more agressive over time to increase the volume of content acquisition.”
The Hulu topper pointed out the service’s interest in foreign-language content, particularly Spanish-language shows and pics which can cross over. “There is a lot of international programming available. And there is a big expat community in the U.S.. We’re looking »
- Elsa Keslassy
Turkish soap operas are big business in South America. So is K-pop music. If that’s news to you, you’re not alone.
“If you had told me that three years ago, I’d have probably asked you to send over what you were drinking,” says Jonathan Stern, Fusion’s VP and head of business development.
It’s just one of the ways that over-the-top distribution and programming has altered the way TV business has changed in the past few years. “We and others are racing to meet demand from consumers, demand that has really existed for decades, (as consumers want) to have more control and flexibility around their television,” says Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins. “We’ve invested so heavily in improving our user experience, our personalization and ad targeting.”
Yet more channels opening their doors to more programming probably gives FX’s John Landgraf a headache; his “too much »
- Randee Dawn
Hulu has a new paid option for potential and current subscribers. The streaming video-on-demand service has just implemented a new ad-free subscription option for $12 a month.
Hulu’s ad-free service will remove ads from almost all of the programming titles in Hulu’s library. The new option sans ads costs $4 more than the streaming service’s current premium tier (previously dubbed Plus), which will still be available. Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins told Variety he believes offering both options will help hasten Hulu’s growth, and his company has no immediate plans to abandon the ad model.
“There will be a little bit of switching at the beginning but I think both plans are going to grow dramatically,” Hopkins explained.
There’s a small hitch to Hulu’s new ad-free offer, though. Seven “exception” TV shows will still require ads; these titles include include New Girl, Scandal, Once Upon a Time, »
- Bree Brouwer
Good news Hulu subscribers, you’ll soon be able to watch all your favorite shows and films, including the upcoming fourth season of The Mindy Project, on the streaming site without any commercials at all. The only condition: it’ll cost you a little extra. Hulu announced today it’s now offering a commercial-free subscription option for $11.99 per month, which is four dollars more than the monthly subscription rate for the site’s current service that does feature “limited” commercial interruptions. Current Hulu subscribers can choose to keep their existing $7.99 per month or can switch to the commercial-free option at any time for the four-dollar increase. “At Hulu, we pride ourselves on listening to our customers and giving them the best possible experience,” said Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins. “Many of our customers have asked us for a commercial free option, and so today we are excited to introduce just that. »
- Chris King
Praise Beyonce Pad Thai, Hulu is going commercial free just in time for The Mindy Project to arrive! The streaming service announced fans can pay $11.99 a month for ad-free Hulu. Commercial. Free. Finally. Hulu is keeping the $7.99 option for "limited commercials." "At Hulu, we pride ourselves on listening to our customers and giving them the best possible experience," Mike Hopkins, CEO of Hulu, said in a statement. "Many of our customers have asked us for a commercial free option, and so today we are excited to introduce just that. Providing more choice for consumers is fundamental to the Hulu experience, in addition to an array of choices in content and devices, our customers can now choose to »
Hulu announced on Wednesday its new commercial-free viewing option, which will fetch $11.99 per month — or four dollars more than its “limited” commercials subscription fka Hulu Plus.
Current Hulu subs will maintain their existing plan, but will have the choice to switch to the commercial-free option at any time for the aforementioned upcharge.
PhotosMindy Project Season 4: Meet the Lahiris (and Mindy »
Hulu unveiled an ad-free option to subscribers on Wednesday, priced at $11.99 per month. The $7.99 monthly rate with commercials is still an available plan. Current Hulu subscribers will have to option to upgrade to the commercial-free service at any time for the additional $4 per month. “At Hulu, we pride ourselves on listening to our customers and giving them the best possible experience,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO, Hulu. “Many of our customers have asked us for a commercial free option, and so today we are excited to introduce just that. Providing more choice for consumers is fundamental to the Hulu experience, in addition to. »
- Tony Maglio
Hulu launched an alternative subscription service Wednesday sans commercials in the programming–but with some notable exceptions.
The new offering costs $12 per month, four dollars more than the existing Hulu service, which will remain available. However, seven prominent broadcast TV series including ABC’s “Scandal” and Fox’s “New Girl” will still be preceded by a 15-second preroll ad and followed by a 30-second post-roll ad.
Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins chalked up the exceptions to rights held by studios on select series. “They have other commitments that they couldn’t free them up for a complete commercial-free offering,” he said, adding that the service will clearly delineate the exceptions to users before they stream those series.
Other series that will have pre-roll include four ABC series: “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Agents of Shield,” and an NBC series, “Grimm.”
Hulu is making »
- Andrew Wallenstein
The keynote stems from the Mipcom 2015 conference programme A New Creative Excellence and will cover Hulu’s rapid growth in the Us, the changing distribution landscape for digital programmes in the Us, the future of television and the evolution of content.
Among other duties, Packer (pictured at right; Hopkins pictured at left) spearheads Lionsgate’s roll-out of global streaming platforms such as Lions Gate Entertainment World with The Alibaba Group in China, the Tribeca Shortlist platform with Tribeca Enterprises and the Comic-Con Svod service with Comic-Con International.
During his 25-year career he has held senior executive positions at Disney and MGM.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Jim Packer, President of Worldwide Television and Digital Distribution at Lionsgate, and Mike Hopkins, CEO of Hulu, will hold a keynote conversation on the first day of Mipcom, the trade show’s organizers announced on Thursday. The conversation is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 5 in the Grand Auditorium of the Palais Des Festivals in Cannes and will be part of the conference program “A New Creative Excellence.” Packer and Hopkins will cover Hulu’s rapid U.S. growth, the ever-changing distribution landscape for digital programs and the future of television. Also Read: How Buzzy Streaming Services Are Playing Catch Up to Legacy Networks Mipcom is an. »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
A bevy of Hollywood A-listers have been named to Paley Center for Media’s Los Angeles board of governors, the nonprofit announced Wednesday.
Among them are Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt and United Talent Agency founding partner Peter Benedek. CBS Entertainment chair Nina Tassler is the sole woman on the list.
The board’s goal is to offer the Paley Center advice and counsel in support of a mission to lead the conversation about the cultural, creative and social significance of media and its impact on our society. Also, said Maureen J. Reidy, president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media, “The board will serve an important role in helping to ensure the Paley Center will continue to be a thriving cultural institution, must-visit tourist destination and the go-to place for television fans and the media-interested public.”
The full list of board of governors is below. »
- Whitney Friedlander
The presence of ads on Hulu’s premium subscription service has long bothered many of the site’s users. If we’re paying $8 a month, the common complaint goes, why do we still have to sit through ads? If a report in the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, Hulu will soon address these concerns. The streaming video site is rumored to be planning an ad-free subscription service, which will cost somewhere between $12 and $14 per month.
Hulu has been thinking about reducing ads on its premium service for some time now. In October 2014, CEO Mike Hopkins said Hulu is “always looking at a variety of ways to create the best possible experience for our viewers and advertisers including reducing the ad load.” Then, one month ago, Hulu stopped calling its current premium service Hulu Plus. While the company said this name change was meant as a way to unite the Hulu brand, »
- Sam Gutelle
Subscription VOD service Hulu is considering adding a more expensive subscription option sans commercials, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.
In addition to maintaining its current $7.99 version with ads, Hulu would make a second version available for a price in the neighborhood of $12-$14. While that price point would be more expensive than most Svod options in the U.S. marketplace, the logic behind the move is that would avoid siphoning away the 9 million subscribers already paying for the current version.
But the new offering could help Hulu better compete with its biggest rivals, Netflix and Amazon Prime, which have both always been without ads. Hulu has been criticized for requiring for subs to pay but sit through ads; on the other hand, the dual revenue stream has drawn respect within the media industry.
Hulu did not respond to inquiry for comment.
In an April interview with Variety, Hulu »
- Andrew Wallenstein
Hulu has partnered with Showtime to launch the premium cable network’s streaming service in July, Showtime chairman and CEO Matthew C. Blank announced on Tuesday with Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins. Starting next month, Hulu subscribers will have the option to add Showtime to their Hulu subscription and stream on most internet-connected devices. The deal makes Showtime the first premium service to be offered on Hulu. Hulu’s nearly nine million subscribers will soon be able to sign up for Showtime through its online site, granting them unlimited on-demand access to every season of Showtime’s original series and new episodes as they debut. »
- Kathy Zerbib
Hulu will sell Showtime Networks’ Internet-streaming service to subscribers beginning in early July across an array of devices — giving Hulu more firepower to fight its chief rival, Netflix.
Hulu will offer Showtime to subs for $8.99 per month — 18% less than the $10.99 the cabler’s Ott service will cost through device partners — in addition to $7.99-per-month Hulu subscription. The CBS-owned premium network is the first premium service to be offered to Hulu’s nearly 9 million U.S. subscribers. Also in early July, Showtime is launching its over-the-top service on Apple devices, Roku players and Roku TV, and Sony’s PlayStation Vue. The service is slated to debut prior to the July 12 premieres of Showtime original series “Ray Donovan” and “Masters of Sex.”
Hulu subscribers will have unlimited on demand access to every season of Showtime original series, including “Homeland” (pictured above) as well as access to new episodes as they premiere, along with documentary and sports programming, »
- Todd Spangler
Craig Erwich’s corner office at Hulu took some getting used to: It doesn’t have any walls. Like everyone who works at the digital studio — from CEO Mike Hopkins on down — the head of content sits in a cubicle. That’s part of the corporate culture. “I get a lot of stimulation from being around other people, so quite frankly, it’s actually a really good environment for me,” says Erwich, who joined last year from Warner Horizon. “I always found at my old jobs that all the really good conversations happened in the coffee room or in the parking lot or in the elevator. This is like being in the elevator all the time.”
Ye Rin Mok for Variety
We All Scream …
One of the perks at Hulu is the well-stocked kitchen with its free snacks, and Erwich admits his guilty pleasure is the old-school ice cream sandwiches. »
- Debra Birnbaum
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