Hulu Strikes New Deals. Let’s Look at Streaming Trends and Opportunities on Hulu.

7Park Data publishes new Trends in Streaming Video: OTT Viewership report, insights on Hulu.

Hulu is the brainchild of multiple traditional broadcast TV channels. As a subscription service, it also offers cord cutters the opportunity to watch both linear and original programming. While Hulu has dipped its toes into the original content pool by producing programs such as The Mindy Project, Hulu’s core offering is on-demand linear TV. Hulu’s best performing programs are ones that originate on linear TV, and a year-over-year increase in streams emphasizes this trend. In 7Park Data’s latest TV Intelligence report we take a closer look at streaming trends on Hulu and identify opportunities ahead. Here are a few findings from the report.


A recognized phenomenon (observed on Netflix and other subscription video on demand (SVOD) services) is the concept of “run-up” viewing. When a show is about to launch on traditional television, a segment of viewers catch up on previous seasons. We profiled this activity in our earlier TV Intelligence report using Pretty Little Liars on Netflix in June 2016 as an example. On Hulu, short form comedies, such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine and South Park, show significant run-up engagement.

Because Hulu straddles the worlds of SVOD and traditional broadcast TV, for the most part, it doesn’t benefit from binge watching like Netflix. Instead, Hulu enjoys a “run-along” phenomenon (as we call it at 7Park Data) . As TV episodes premiere on broadcast TV, these episodes are available for viewing on Hulu shortly afterwards. This means that Hulu users can quickly get up to speed, at their preferred time and place, often without ads. As a result, viewership for a given program experiences a bump each week there is a new program on broadcast TV. We see this with the latest season of South Park, Season 20. As the season progresses, more people watch earlier episodes to catch up. Overall, about half of a current season’s streaming is the latest episode, even when a season enters its 7th and 8th weeks.


Hulu doesn’t have a monopoly on program availability, so it loses viewers to other content providers. If Hulu is viewed as an extension of the networks that own it, then this shouldn’t be perceived as a problem. However, if Hulu intends to compete with the likes of Amazon Prime, Netflix, and other SVOD services, it needs to produce more original programming or invest in exclusive streaming programming that complements and even further leverages broadcast TV.

Which are the best-performing genres on Hulu? How are individual shows competing for viewers? Hulu is at the center of the “push and pull” dynamic among linear, broadcast, and streamed TV — what does this mean for Hulu? Download the executive summary of the report and connect with our team to gain access to the full version.

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