Hulu’s Hopkins touts 'powerful' combination of SVOD, livestreaming and advertising


Sounding a warning shot for both its SVOD competitors and traditional pay-TV incumbents, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins appeared on CNBC Thursday to spell out his company’s strategy in regard to its just-launched livestreaming service.

“We are absolutely committed to the subscription video on demand space. It is the lifeblood of our company,” Hopkins said.

“But subscribers aren’t the only way to measure us, when half our revenue comes from advertising,” he added. 

Indeed, just as Hulu introduced subscription-based viewership to ad-supported streaming several years ago as an addition rather than a replacement, the company sees the launch of livestreaming as yet another value-add that could trump not only Netflix and Amazon, but Comcast and AT&T as well. 

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“You put it all together, and we have something pretty powerful economically,” Hopkins said.

But can Hulu make money by offering an SVOD smorgasbord and a pay-TV-replacing collection of broadcast and cable channels for $39.99 a month?

“Yeah, we can,” Hopkins said, noting that add-on features like a 200-hour cloud DVR and capability for unlimited streams (an additional $14.99 a month if purchased separately, or $19.99 combined) will drive profitability. 

"As people's tastes change, as people want these different experiences we need to capture them as they are coming out,” he added. "I think we can actually get people who opted out of the system back in through a service like Hulu live TV."