Hulu’s animation play

18 August, 2023

Image: Futurama, Hulu

Hulu has been making targeted investments to build out its animation catalog and recently created a dedicated Animayhem hub on its platform for its adult animation and anime content. Fox’s “Animation Domination” programming block predates the streaming wars and Hulu is continuing that tradition by leaning into the strength of its animation programming, including many of the long-running shows that formed the cornerstone of Fox’s “Animation Domination.”

To underscore how far Hulu has gone in dominating the adult animation landscape, eight of the ten most in-demand adult animation series in the past year were available to stream on Hulu. Six of these were available exclusively on the platform. However, the most in-demand adult animated comedy in the US in the past year, South Park, was only available to stream on Max.


Additionally, of the top ten animated comedies, the only two that have ended, Futurama and King of the Hill, are being rebooted as Hulu originals. These shows ended a decade or more ago, but have remained consistently in-demand since then. When it comes to animated comedies (or any comedy for that matter) long-running classics are often a safer bet and Hulu is looking to capitalize on its animated assets with a proven track record. Since the new season of Futurama premiered on July 24th, it has peaked at nearly 80 times the average series demand and ranked as the most in-demand show in the US for multiple days. This bodes well for the upcoming King of the Hill reboot.


Hulu’s focus on becoming the go-to platform for adult animation fans should be an effective one for retaining subscribers. If we look at shows that the viewers of Futurama also watch, the series with the most overlap are long-running standards of the adult animation genre like The SimpsonsFamily Guy, and Rick and Morty - all available to stream on Hulu.  

With Rick and Morty, a rebooted Futurama, and the Hulu original Solar Opposites (which just released its fourth season August 14th) Hulu appears to have cornered the market on quirky sci-fi animated comedies. Adding shows like this to its catalog likely does more to retain these audiences and keep them engaged on the platform than to attract any new subscribers that weren’t already interested by what Hulu has to offer.  

We’ve previously shown how demand for Hulu’s catalog of anime leads other major streamers in the US. As a specialist platform however, Crunchyroll, has the most demand for its deep catalog of anime content. It would be a massive undertaking if Hulu wants to become the go-to streamer for anime fans who already have an established platform whose entire business model revolves around serving that particular audience niche.


It is also interesting to see that Max had a slight lead over Hulu when considering demand for non-anime adult animation on-platform.  This is driven in part by Max having the #1 and #3 most in-demand adult animation series on-platform as well as Adult Swim shows like Robot Chicken.

Hulu’s strength is in balancing animated comedies and anime to make an all around balanced animation destination.

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