NEW YORK: Hulu announced Wednesday that its user base has grown to some 28 million as the streaming video platform now controlled by Walt Disney gears up to take on Netflix.
Hulu said it was adding new original shows including the Marvel comics based Ghost Rider and Helstrom as live-action series in 2020.
It will also partner with Vox Media Studios, David Chang’s Majordomo Media and Chrissy Teigen’s Suit & Thai Productions to develop its own “food-centric programming for the platform.”
Hulu said it has a total of 28.1 million users, including 26.1 million paying subscribers and 1.3 million on promotional trials.
The streaming platform is now controlled by Disney, which has a 60% stake with its deal for media assets of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.
Disney is believed to be in talks with Comcast, which holds 30% of Hulu. AT&T has said it will cede its 10% stake back to the platform in a deal that set the value of Hulu at some US$15 billion.
Hulu’s US user base trails Netflix, which has some 60 million US subscribers, but it has grown faster than its larger rival so far in 2019. Unlike Netflix, it offers a variety of plans that include ad-supported subscriptions.
“In today’s direct-to-consumer world, viewers are demanding better when it comes to TV – from the user experience to their content choices to the advertising,” said Hulu chief executive Randy Freer.
“Hulu’s continued growth, as well as the shows and initiatives announced today, reflect our deep investment in product, programming, brand, customer experience and business strategy to ensure that with Hulu, consumers can connect with the stories they love, at the right time and price, on any device.”
Hulu, known for “The Handmaid’s Tale” and the upcoming “The Great,” based on the life of Catherine the Great and starring Elle Fanning, is expected to play a role in Disney’s strategy as it shifts to the new media landscape.
The media-entertainment firm, the largest of the Hollywood giants, is launching its Disney+ streaming service, which is expected to offer more family and children’s content, while allowing for separate or bundled subscriptions with Hulu and the ESPN+ sports streaming service.