Hulu Is Hollywood’s Last Line Of Defense Against A Tech Takeover - CATEGORY Worldwide news: TITLE

Hulu is probably doing better than you thought it was. Check the stats—this week the company announced it has 17 million subscribers, having gained about 5 million over the last year and a half. Check the accolades—the Hulu original The Handmaid’s Tale picked up two Golden Globe awards Sunday night, beating Netflix’s single award for the evening. And check the back catalog—Hulu is now the only streaming service where you can binge 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, and Living Single, to name a few beloved programs. The 11-year-old company, whose tagline for years could have been I guess since there’s nothing on Netflix …, is finally starting to develop an identity all its own.

And yet just like always, Hulu feels like it might be on the brink of radical reinvention, or collapse. The service, which was jointly launched by Fox and NBC in 2007, and which Disney bought into in 2009, has been trapped in a kind of perpetual defensive crouch for its entire existence, trying to serve cord-cutters while protecting pay-TV’s lucrative walled garden at the same time. CEO Randy Freer acknowledged as much during a CES panel discussion with Turner CEO John Martin. “It was a defense against YouTube at one point in time. Then it was a defense against Netflix. Then a defense against pay-TV erosion. Now we’re in a place where we’ve become very offensive in our investment, very aggressive in our marketing, very focused on adding subscribers.”



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