Hulu CEO Jason Kilar Monday night said the video service is on track to see $500 million in revenues this year, with some $300 million going out to its content partners.
Kilar, in a blog post, said first quarter revenue was up 90 percent over the same quarter a year ago, and said the company served 289 advertisers in the quarter, up some 50 percent from a year ago.
"It is still very early days for online video and our biggest opportunities/challenges are clearly still in front of us,' he said. "We're thankful for - and humbled by - the response we've received these past 90 days from our users, advertisers, and content partners."
Kilar said the company also expects to see its Hulu Plus premium service top 1 million users this year. Hulu Plus launched in 2010. Kilar said the rapid gain likely gives Hulu Plus "the fastest start of any online video subscription service."
What's probably more important is that Hulu continues to add content, and users are still pushing video stream numbers up.
Kilar said Hulu added 53 new content partners from the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, including brands from the Viacom family, notably MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and BET. Users, he said initiated 10 percent more streams this past quarter than in the previous quarter.
Of course, the year hasn't been all milk and honey for Kilar & Co. In February, he stirred up some animus among the three media companies-News Corp., Disney and NBC Universal-that co-own Hulu when he wrote a lengthy blog on what he believed would be the future of TV.
"Traditional TV has too many ads," Kilar wrote, noting that "users have demonstrated that they will go to great lengths to avoid the advertising load" of network television. Kilar also said that, aside from sports, viewers increasingly are turning to on-demand viewing to avoid commercials, and said "based on metrics from Nielsen/IAG, Hulu's video advertising service is roughly twice as effective as traditional TV video advertising services."
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