Hulu today announced that it added 8 million subscribers in 2018 and raised its total to more than 25 million subscribers across its SVOD and live TV services.
The rate of growth marks a 48% year-over-year increase in subscribers, and, as Hulu pointed out, officially put Hulu past all of the major U.S. pay TV providers in terms of subscribers. At the end of the third quarter, AT&T’s DirecTV had the most subscribers in the U.S. with 25.18 million.
Hulu is still far behind its biggest competitor, Netflix, which ended its third quarter with nearly 57 million paid subscribers in the U.S. (and more than 130 million paid subscribers total including international customers).
“Consumers have spoken loudly about their desire for more choice and control in their TV experience. They are seeing the enormous benefits of streaming, they’re deciding which content and brands are most important to them, and they’re choosing Hulu,” said Hulu CEO Randy Freer in a statement. “In 2018, Hulu led the industry in attracting and engaging subscribers, building a powerful technology stack and cultivating a brand that both consumers and advertisers love. Looking ahead, Hulu is in the best position to be the #1 choice for TV—live and on-demand, with and without commercials, both in and out of the home.”
As its subscriber base grows, Hulu said it’s also increasingly attracting more brands that want to advertise on its platform. As a result, the company grew its advertising revenue more than 45% to nearly $1.5 billion and increased its advertiser base by 50%.
Furthermore, Hulu is seeing increased engagement on its service. The company reported average time spent on Hulu per subscriber each month increased 20% in 2018.
Hulu’s official subscriber number announcement comes in significantly ahead of where early reports suggested it would land. In December, Freer’s remarks at a Business Insider conference suggested that Hulu would have at least 23 million subscribers by the end of the year.