Hulu's Hit Parade: Are recent new releases making the platform essential for subscribers?

24 November, 2021

Hulu has had a string of recent successful premieres. On the back of a price hike in October are these new hits keeping the platform essential for subscribers? Here we compare how recent new series premieres compare.

In our recent Global TV Demand Report, we saw Hulu losing demand for its original series in markets around the world in Q2. This was despite the season 4 premiere of The Handmaid's Tale during the quarter, a show which has historically been one of the most in-demand Hulu originals. The platform's demand share in the US stabilized in Q3, when several of its latest premieres were first released.

It remains to be seen if the net effect of its recent releases can turn the trend around and grow Hulu's share of demand for digital originals in Q4, but there's no doubt there will be stiff competition with high profile releases like The Wheel of Time from Amazon Prime Video and The Witcher from Netflix scheduled for the end of the year.

In the chart above we can see how Hulu's most in-demand recent premieres stack up by time shifting their premiere dates to line up. This is a useful view because we can see how shows have taken different demand trajectories.

⁠Nine Perfect Strangers had the strongest start out of the gate, jumping to nearly 30 times the average series demand following its premiere. This was a higher initial post-release demand than any of Hulu's other recent premieres. Its star-studded cast may have been one factor driving immediate awareness of and demand for the show.

In contrast, Only Murders in the Building leveraged cliffhangers and suspense to grow its demand each week, ending with higher demand than any of the other premieres, peaking near 40 times the average series demand at its finale. Based on the high demand for the show two months following its premiere, its renewal for a second season seems to be validated.

Reservation Dogs was a bit of a late bloomer. Only in its final two weeks did the show surge to have some of the highest demand among recent Hulu releases six weeks from premiere. While Taika Waititi's name attached to the show no doubt attracted some attention, the main cast was relatively unknown young actors, especially compared to the star power of Nine Perfect Strangers and Only Murders in the Building. Not only Hulu, but also the talent should benefit from the success of this show. Watch for return seasons of this show to be even more successful as audiences have now discovered the show and its talent.

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