Media

Not too shabby: Hulu nears a million paid subscribers

Hulu Q2Video-streaming site Hulu is very close to reaching a million paid subscribers, according to the company’s second quarter progress report published today.

Hulu offers a limited amount of free access to the videos on its website. For $8 per month, Hulu Plus subscribers get access to a larger library of exclusive content as well as the ability to watch programming on several different devices, not just through a web browser. The company has about 875,000 Hulu Plus subscribers, and that number rises to over a million if you include the number of free one-week trial subscribers, according to Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.

The number of subscriptions outpaced the company’s projections by a wide margin, according to Kilar. The company added more subscribers in June than it did during the previous two months combined. It expects to exceed a million paid subscribers by the end of this summer, rather than its original estimate of December 2011.

“We have always believed that our path towards creating a special company lay in our ability to delight our customers. The key to delighting content owners rests in the economics, and Hulu Plus is already revealing our ability to compensate content owners at the high-end of the market for a given body of content,” wrote Kilar on the company’s blog.

The majority of Hulu’s content library contains programming from its media partners/owners, which include Disney (ABC), News Corp. (Fox) and Comcast (NBC-Universal). Hulu recently reached new licensing agreements with each of its partners to continue streaming their exclusive TV content well into the future.

Such a move is a necessary step since all of Hulu’s owners are seeking to sell the company. News of Hulu’s continued success with paid subscriptions is also beneficial as the company seeks a potential buyer. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are among the companies interested in acquiring the video-streaming company.

Hulu’s exclusive television content has attracted more than 600 major advertisers, including Nissan, McDonald’s and Johnson & Johnson. The company said it expects to make $500 million in revenue from ad sales and fees from its premium subscription service this year.