More than 1.5m users now subscribe to Hulu‘s premium streaming service, with Hulu Plus sign-ups in 2011 double the daily rate of 2010. Part of that may well be down to Hulu keeping its best – and the most – content for paying subscribers, however, with free-to-stream Hulu content growing 40-percent year on year, while paid Hulu Plus content more than doubled.
Hulu isn’t naming names, but it’s clear the company thinks it has the edge on streaming rivals. “Our model [of free and paid upselling] allows us to profitably pay content owners approximately 50% more in content licensing fees per subscriber when compared to other similarly priced online subscription services” it claims, announcing that it expects to spend around half a billion dollars on content deals this year.
However, 2011 will also go down as the year when Hulu failed to ink a deal, with its owners decided to drop attempts to sell the company after one by one big-name potential bidders dropped out. Instead, Hulu is said to be considering an IPO.
Meanwhile, comScore claims Netflix users are spending twice as much time watching that streaming service instead of Hulu Plus. In November 2011, Netflix users apparently viewed a billion minutes, while Hulu viewers together racked up 480 million minutes.