Hulu is planning to double the amount of original content it shows this year as the SVOD platform gets ready to launch its live TV streaming service.
Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins told Adweek that in addition to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which just launched, his company will debut series this year including Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s “Future Man,” along with “The Looming Tower” and “Castle Rock,” a series being developed by J.J. Abrams and Stephen King. Hopkins also said Hulu has been getting a hugely positive response to recent licensing deals like Hulu’s exclusive streaming rights for “The Golden Girls.”
While SVOD rivals like Netflix and Amazon have ambitious original programming slates and virtual MVPD rivals like Sling TV and DirecTV Now have already launched with many of the same channels, Hulu will represent something of a rare crossroads as a company packages both live streaming TV and its own streaming originals.
Peter Naylor, senior vice president of advertising sales at Hulu, also told the publication that Hulu will begin using Nielsen’s digital ad ratings to measure its viewership across all of its platforms.
All of this as well as Hulu’s planned overhaul of its user experience will converge when Hulu launches its high-profile virtual MVPD service this month.
Hulu’s live TV service will be priced at around $40 per month and will include access to live channels from programmers including CBS, Disney, Fox, Time Warner and A+E. The service will also throw in cloud DVR service and full access to the on-demand subscription content—both licensed and original content—that comes with Hulu’s traditional $8-per-month package.
Early reports about the revamped user interface make mention of the Lineup, which is a personalized landing page. According to Mashable, users will have to answer a series of questions about their entertainment preferences before they can access the launch screen. The Lineup will vary depending on the user, but it will feature a combination of live, on-demand and recorded content.
The new Hulu live service will also feature notifications that will alert viewers when something particularly interesting is about to happen during a sporting event. According to Mashable, the alerts are reserved for sports right now, but in the future Hulu intends to apply the technology for breaking news as well as providing a heads-up when a show or series is about to be taken off the service.