Hoping that content really is king in the battle for viewer attention, video streaming company Hulu has purchased its first original scripted series.
Hulu has ordered 13, 30-minute episodes of (somewhat ironically titled) “Battleground,” a faux documentary that follows the characters behind a fictional politician’s campaign for Senator.
“Battleground” episodes will beginning airing Tuesday, February 14, and episodes will include eight minutes of advertising, according to AdAge.
The site’s exclusive new offering is part of a $500 million new content promise Hulu CEO Jason Kilar made to viewers earlier in the week — and a chess-like response to Netflix. The series announcement, not coincidentally, coincides with Netflix’s first foray into the realm of original programming. The Hulu competitor will start streaming its original series “Lilyhammer” to subscribers come early February.
Hulu, a company that had an uncertain future just a few months ago, is also now talking about potentially raising funds to finance more original content deals. “We have a very healthy business,” chief content officer Andy Forssell said at the Television Critics’ Association Winter Press Tour Sunday. “When you have a healthy business, capital is not a problem. There are plenty of people who want to help.”
Hulu has also renewed its commitment to documentary series “A Day in the Life.” The company has ordered 10 new episodes of the show, according to Bloomberg.
Together, the two shows could help Hulu ramp up advertising sales and encourage more Hulu Plus paid-subscriber signups. Hulu continues to see healthy growth in revenue, new content and subscriber numbers, but it missed its 2011 revenue projection by $80 million.