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Most Innovative Companies

Hulu

The World's Most Innovative Companies 2018

Hulu is an online streaming service co-owned by Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Comcast/NBCUniversal. The platform offers its 17 million paying subscribers (it has a total audience of 54 million unique viewers) access to both an extensive subscription video-on-demand library of TV shows and movies as well as a live TV package that it launched in 2017. This blend of options makes it unique among other digital bundles such as Sling TV and DirecTV, which only offer live programming. But its real competitors are Amazon and Netflix, which Hulu is catching up to with more resources devoted to original content. In 2017 Hulu spent $2.5 billion on content, including The Handmaid’s Tale, the service’s breakout hit that won both Golden Globe and Emmy awards. This brand-defining series helped accelerate Hulu’s growth—subscribers increased by 5 million year-over-year—and helped it hit $1 billion in advertising revenue for the first time in its history.

Hulu has been adept at knowing when to pivot and when to be persistent. In 2013, the company was briefly put up for sale after disagreement among its owners over how to grow the company. But after a strong rebranding push (it got rid of its free, ad-supported business in 2016) and investment in original content, Hulu is poised to become one of the most compelling streaming services around.

Data
staff: 1,600+
users: 12 million
headquarters: Santa Monica, California
Competition: Netflix, Amazon
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