Emmys and Golden Globes are lovely, but Hulu measures its success the old fashioned way: numbers. A press release from the company shared Tuesday morning revealed that Hulu reached a landmark 17 million subscribers in 2017 in a 40 percent increase over the previous year.
It’s hard to pinpoint what drew in the five million new subscribers; was it the critically acclaimed Handmaid’s Tale, which swept the Emmys and dominated conversations for its 10-episode run? Was it the growing library of beloved TV shows from years past (many of which used to be on Netflix)? Was it the live TV service launched in May? Or was it the fact that Hulu remains one of the primary on-demand streaming destinations for viewers to catch up on their favorite shows the day after a new episode airs – particularly with popular shows like Will & Grace, Black-ish, and This Is Us.
Notably, the average age of a Hulu subscriber is 31 – that’s significantly younger than the broadcast TV equivalent, which is 55, and fits neatly into the coveted 18-34 demographic that television execs target.
In December, Disney acquired 21st Century Fox and became a majority shareholder of Hulu, which made the streaming service even more formidable as compared with its de facto rival, Netflix (Disney-owned Lost made the switch from Netflix to Hulu over the course of one night on Jan. 4).
“2017 was a momentous year for Hulu. We took several major steps to become a 21st century direct-to-consumer media company, evolving into both an aggressive SVOD business and a formidable new live TV provider,” Hulu CEO Randy Freer said in the release. “The year ahead is going to be even bigger, as the company invests more in content – live, library and original – as well as technology and data to make Hulu the leading pay TV choice for consumers.”