Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins this morning confirmed plans to offer a “skinny bundle” of offerings that will include real-time delivery of broadcast and pay TV network channels that won’t require a cable connection. The service will be offered sometime in the next year; no price was mentioned, but reports have pegged the fee at $40 per month. With Hulu owners Disney and Fox, along with silent partner Comcast, the prospects look good for a major upgrade for cord-cutters resulting in what Hopkins described as a “deeply personalized experience.” More than 70% of Hulu subscribers watch at home. “We’ve literally put TV back in the TV,” Hopkins said.
As further inducement to the crowd, Hopkins said that while Hulu offered an ad-free option, “the vast vast majority of viewers” stay with the ad-supported plan, preferring “live, linear TV content.”
Hopkins made the announcement at Hulu’s upfront presentation to advertisers at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Among the other items on the list were a deal with concert monolith Live Nation that will allow Hulu to live stream concerts to subscribers, who, Hopkins said, have increased 33% in the last year to 12 million. And in another effort to induce advertisers to sign on, Hulu introduced a deal with BrightLine to create more interactive ads.
The presentation included stars from various Hulu offerings including Hugh Laurie of Chance, executive producer Amy Poehler and the leads from Difficult People, and Mindy Kaling. The show finished up with a video featuring Ron Howard and Paul McCartney promoting The Beatles: Eight Days A Week, the Howard-helmed documentary Hulu will present in the fall at the same time as its theatrical release.