Hulu at Long Last Provides an Update on Subscriber Numbers

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Hulu announced the renewal of its original series 'The Handmaid's Tale' at its NewFronts presentation on Wednesday.
Hulu announced the renewal of its original series 'The Handmaid's Tale' at its NewFronts presentation on Wednesday. Credit: Hulu

Hulu now counts more than 17 million total subscribers, according to the first update from the company on the subject in a long time.

The streaming video service, which on Sunday night took home several Golden Globe awards for its original series "The Handmaid's Tale," hasn't released its subscriber numbers since May 2016, when it said it had 12 million U.S. users.

Hulu also said its total audience grew to 54 million total unique viewers from 47 million in May 2017. Hulu says its viewers have a median age of 31 and an average household income of $92,000. Those stats matter to potential advertisers, which continue to seek viewers in the 18-to-49-year-old bracket that is rapidly diminishing on broadcast TV. Hulu said it hit $1 billion in ad revenue for the first time in 2017.

Hulu's consumer base still trails the more than 50 million Netflix subscribers in the U.S. As of September 2017, for another point of comparison, AT&T had 25 million video subscribers in the U.S.

But 2017 was a big year for Hulu. Aside from critical acclaim for "The Handmaid's Tale," the company also introduced a live TV service. It has not yet said anything about how many people have signed up to pay for that.

The company also got some new leadership, with Fox veteran Randy Freer succeeding Mike Hopkins as CEO in October.

The top three dramas on Hulu based on hours watched in 2017 were "Law & Order: SVU," "This is Us" and "The Handmaid's Tale," according to Hulu. The top comedies included "South Park," "Family Guy" and "Bob's Burgers," though, notably, Hulu viewers watched more than 65 million hours of "Seinfeld" last year.

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