The number of people who are paying for streaming site Hulu's premium service has eclipsed the impressive two million milestone. In January, it was announced that Hulu Plus had around 1.5 million subscribers, so the rate of growth is now more than 100,000 per month, which is certainly nothing to scoff at. And there is no sign that the service is slowing down, so that number will continue to grow.
When Hulu CEO Jason Kilar announced the 1.5 million milestone, he noted that between 2010 and 2011, the business grew by 60%, and brought in $420 million in revenue last year. The two million figure has not been announced by Hulu, but was reported by the New York Times. Hulu has managed to create quite a loyal following, especially since it makes all of its most popular and recent videos available to computer browsers for free.
The biggest question that Hulu needs to answer for consumers is - how am I different than Netflix? The most important answer to that is recency. Episodes of dozens of TV shows are made available on Hulu within 24 hours of being broadcast live. For Netflix, it may take as long as a year for that same show to be available. What makes Hulu Plus worth the extra $8/month cost is that it gives users access to the back catalog of episodes, but perhaps even more important today, it makes Hulu streaming available on other devices. Hulu.com is free from people who watch on a computer, but if you want to watch those same videos on the PS3 or an Internet-connected TV, you need Hulu Plus. It's a great business model.
[via NY Times]