This week has been a big one for Hulu. Not only has it officially announced it has hit the one million paying subscribers milestone, but it has rolled out its deep Facebook integration which sees real-time social viewing finally become a reality.
Hulu Hits Milestone
Hulu has officially hit the 1 million milestone for paying subscribers. CEO Jason Kilar announced the news on Wednesday ahead of the f8 conference (more on that later). In the same speech during a Goldman Sachs investor conference, Kilar stated Hulu would be investing “over $375 million in content this year.”
These 1 million plus customers all subscribe to Hulu Plus, which became an option last November for those seeking more from the service. I didn’t think the extra content and features being offered would be enough to persuade many people to sign up, but I was clearly wrong on that score.
Today saw Hulu roll out its new Facebook app, after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new effort to bring the rest of the Internet into the social network using its Open Graph.
The Hulu Facebook app means full integration, so Hulu users can now watch content directly within Facebook. Friends can see what you are watching on Hulu, leave comments, and otherwise interact using the video as the conversation starter.
Incidentally, the much-maligned-of-late Netflix is another streaming video service teaming with Facebook, but it won’t be rolling out its new app in the U.S. for fear of falling foul to the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). Strange then that Hulu has no such worries.
The 1 million paying subscribers suggests that whoever ends up buying Hulu is going to acquire a company with a rosy future. Which once again raises the question of why its current owners are selling in the first place?
As for the Facebook integration, social viewing is still not a mainstream desire, but partnering with the biggest social networking in the world gives the effort the best chance of success. It does now, however, guarantee anything.