Insights

Hulu works hard for the money: Is the platform's October price hike justified?

3 October, 2021

Hulu announced its plans to increase the price of its monthly plans by $1 on October 8th.  While any price increase will ruffle some subscribers’ feathers, Hulu does not seem to be resting on its laurels and recently looks like it is working to prove its value to subscribers. 

It’s important to call out that when considering all content available on-platform, Hulu consistently ranks first among streamers in the US.  The platform delivers the goods in the sheer amount of content available to subscribers in the US.

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It’s important to note that much of Hulu’s content is not exclusive to the platform.  This naturally lessens the power of its massive catalog to attract new subscribers.  Every show that can be streamed somewhere else makes Hulu less of a necessity to subscribers.  

Focusing on demand for Hulu originals, the picture has looked less rosy as of late.  Hulu’s share of demand for its original content has lagged in Q2.  As reported in Parrot Analytics Q2 Global TV Demand Report, Hulu’s demand share for originals has fallen faced with pressure from other platforms.  This result is a bit of a surprise given that Hulu’s flagship original, The Handmaid’s Tale released episodes throughout Q2.  This show doesn’t seem to be able to tip the scales like it once did either among consumers or critics.

In the past week however, Hulu has had a string of successes.  The top two breakout shows (defined as new shows that have premiered in the past 100 days with the highest demand) of the past week have been Hulu originals.  Nine Perfect Strangers was the most in-demand breakout show for the week (27.74x) and Only Murders in the Building was only marginally behind it with 27.73x the averages series demand. 

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Not only have Hulu’s originals been succeeding, but two FX originals available on Hulu made it into the top breakout shows for the week.  Reservation Dogs and Y: The Last Man had 22.48 and 16.95 times the average series demand respectively.  The Wonder Years reboot from ABC, which is also available to stream on Hulu, was the tenth most in-demand breakout show for the week.  The fact that half of the top breakout shows last week are available on Hulu (with two being platform originals) shows that the streamer is heading into October in a strong position for when it will increase prices.

It's also notable that two of the top ten breakout shows are Disney+ originals - Marvel's What If...? and Star Wars: Visions.   Considering that Disney has been promoting bundling Disney+ with Hulu, the value proposition of that bundle is looking even better for consumers going into the fall.  Especially considering that the cost of the bundled services does not appear to be increasing as opposed to a standalone Hulu subscription.

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