Hulu said it has surpassed 20 million U.S. subscribers, a milestone that shows its commitment to original programming is paying dividends.
The video streaming service announced the latest subscriber numbers during today’s NewFront presentation at the newly christened Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, where executives also announced its flagship original series The Handmaid’s Tale has been renewed for a third season, in addition to unveiling new series and exclusive deals including its first multi-year pact with DreamWorks Animation.
The streaming service also said that under a new agreement with Sony Pictures Television, it secured exclusive on-demand streaming rights to ABC’s hit drama series The Good Doctor.
“Hulu is the complete TV experience for consumers, offering both live and on-demand programming and more consumer choice than ever before,” Hulu CEO Randy Freer said.
Following Handmaid’s Tale‘s record-breaking second-season premiere last week — which has already doubled its audience versus Season 1 — Hulu renewed its Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series for a third season. It also expanded its slate with new series orders for Four Weddings and a Funeral and Ramy, which join upcoming Hulu originals Castle Rock, Catch-22 and Little Fires Everywhere.
In partnership with Blumhouse Television, Hulu unveiled Into the Dark, a new horror series from award-winning producer Jason Blum’s independent TV studio. The series will include 12 stand-alone episodes, with a new installment released on the first Friday of every month throughout the year.
Each episode is inspired by a holiday from the month of it release, but all will feature Blumhouse’s signature genre/thriller spin on the story. The first story, The Body, premieres October 5. Set in the selfie culture of Los Angeles on Halloween night, The Body follows a sophisticated, overconfident hitman who always carries out his work in style. Tom Bateman (Murder on the Orient Express,Vanity Fair) stars as Wilkes, the suave, professional hitman, and Rebecca Rittenhouse (The Mindy Project, Blood & Oil) plays Maggie, a feisty, intelligent woman who becomes captivated by him.
The deal with DreamWorks Animation makes Hulu the exclusive streaming home to future DWA feature films, as well as library titles including Shrek, Shrek 2 and Shark Tale. As part of the pact, Hulu will stream theatrical releases from the studio beginning in 2019, including upcoming films How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, The Boss Baby 2 and Trolls 2.
In addition, Hulu will work with DreamWorks Animation Television to develop original kids and family series for exclusive streaming based on the company’s popular franchises and upcoming feature films. This marks the first time Hulu has partnered with a major studio in a multi-series commitment to debut original kids and family content.
Beginning later this quarter, Hulu said it will begin offering dynamically inserted advertising within its Hulu With Live TV product. This capability will be introduced across select cable networks and roll out onto additional live content over the coming months.
Hulu also said it plans to offer a downloadable content experience with opportunities for advertisers. The new feature will allow subscribers to access their favorite shows and movies on the go, with no internet connection required, and give advertisers the opportunity to reach their target audiences.