To say that Fox’s Empire is a hit would be putting it modestly. More accurately, the prime-time soap opera is a ratings monster of unprecedented ferocity, at least in terms of how its audience has grown week after week. The show may have finished its broadcast run last night, but if you missed the bandwagon, you can now stream it–if you have a Hulu account.
That’s because Hulu just secured the exclusive streaming rights to the first season of Empire, as well as all future episodes. It’s a big coup for the streaming service as it competes for eyeballs with streaming subscription services Netflix, Amazon, and soon, HBO Now.
From here on out, new episodes of Empire will be available on Hulu the day after they air on television. That’s pretty standard for a show airing on Fox (which is one of the broadcast partners behind Hulu), but the exclusivity is a big deal for Hulu, especially given the show’s enormous success.
Most shows–even very successful shows–see a dip in ratings after the first episode. Or even if it takes time for the series to pick up steam, almost no shows do what Empire has done: grow its audience week after week after week. In fact, this is the first time a broadcast show has accrued audience members at this rate since Nielsen started keeping track. Fox executives are reportedly so elated at the show’s explosive popularity that they’ve been texting each other party hat emojis and money bag emojis like never before, according to The New York Times.
And it’s not just a success on television. It’s a full-blown, industry-spanning pop culture phenomenon, with its soundtrack having recently reached #1 on the Billboard charts. As the show’s popularity has surged, so too have the number of people streaming its soundtrack on Spotify. In January, songs from Empire were streamed 1.3 million times, according to data from Spotify. In March, that number has climbed to 9 million (and we’ve still got another week and a half of the month left).
[via The Verge]