Hulu by the Numbers: User Statistics, Demographics, and Fun Facts

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28 February, 2024 • Updated 22 days ago
Hulu by the Numbers: User Statistics, Demographics, and Fun Facts

Hulu offers an extensive subscription video-on-demand library of movies, live TV package as well as TV shows. This awesome blend of options is what differentiates Hulu among other digital bundles like DirecTV and Sling TV, which offer live programming only.

When you talk about online streaming services, most people expect you to say Netflix in the next statement. And you won’t be wrong to expect that considering the huge size of Netflix and the hold it has on the internet TV services.

But is it really a total hold as you would like to believe? No way. You would only believe Netflix has a total hold if you’ve been oblivious of the daily news about online streaming services.

Over the years, companies like Amazon, with its Prime Video, and Hulu has been providing a strong competition to Netflix.

Hulu vs Netflix vs Amazon
Hulu vs Netflix vs Amazon

It’s a good thing for consumers. And sometimes, it can be a headache too. The 3 streaming services have TV shows that every TV viewer would like to watch. Enough about the 3 streaming services and their competition.

Over the years, Hulu has produced original TV shows that had good performances with many Emmy nominations. Let’s look at some numbers behind this online streaming service.

Hulu Company Facts

  • Hulu started in 2007 in the month of May
  • Jason Kilar was the first CEO of Hulu
  • NBC Universal developed the first product onthe Hulu platform

Hulu Fun Facts

  • Hulu originated from the Chinese and it means “Gourd” in the Mandarin language
  • Hulu is only available in U.S. and Japan
  • Hulu’s Ad-free option isn’t completely free of Ads
  • The best time to watch Hulu is Weekday afternoons. Because Bandwidth gets pinched during peaks hours, usually between 7pm and 9pm in your area
  • Users can customize subtitles and cool stuff on Hulu
  • Hulu was added to the map during the 2009 Super Bowl by Alec Baldwin
  • On Hulu, users can optimize their viewing experience by upgrading to the latest flash
  • You can keep up with the Kardashians on Hulu
  • Hulu delivers 43 different video ads to users each month
  • Hulu Ads are 2X more effective than TV Ads

Hulu Users Statistics

1. Hulu has 25 million subscribers

In January 2020, Hulu announced it has surpassed the 30 million subscribers figure.

30 million subscribers is a huge milestone considering the company had about 5 million subscribers in 2013. The gulf between the subscriber base and the number of viewers is due to a home of 2 or more people having a single subscriber. This time, the company gave no update about the number of unique viewers.

The company also announced that its total engagement has risen by 60%. Hulu credits its user growth not only to its popular TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale, but also to offering live TV, improving user experience, and aggressive marketing.

Hulu is far behind its competitors when it comes to the total number of subscribers. For instance, Netflix has 130 million subscribers while Amazon Prime Video has 90 million subscribers. However, both services provide content to users worldwide compared to Hulu which only serves the United States.

The level of competition becomes clearer when the 3 services are compared based on their number of users in the United States. Netflix has about 55 million subscribers in the US and Amazon Prime Video has over 26 million in North America. This paints a more accurate view of the competition between the companies in the same region. Even though these figures make it look like a better competition, Hulu is still the third largest streaming service when the United States market is considered.

2. The average age of a Hulu subscriber is 31

Having a large portion of young people as its subscribers is an advantage for Hulu as they can retain them for a long time into the future. For a perspective, this is almost 25 years younger than the average broadcast TV viewer who is 55.

Likewise, there’s an average income of $92,000 in households where Hulu is watched. In fact, 85% of U.S. millennials subscribe to OTT services.

3. Hulu’s live TV has 800,000 subscribers

Apart from TV series and movies, Hulu is also into the live TV industry with its Hulu With Live TV package. The package goes for $40 per month. It was launched in 2017 and the cost covers both live TV and on-demand content.

This is not a total surprise considering that companies like 21st Century Fox and Comcast have a stake in Hulu. The company has an agreement with live TV companies like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, etc. The Hulu With Live TV package offers 51 national cable channels and close to 600 local TV affiliates.

Hulu’s 800,000 live TV subscriber count is lower than AT&T’s DirectTV which has 1.46 million users and Sling TV that has 2.3 million users. However, Hulu is catching up with these established players.

According to Hulu CEO, Randy Freer, live TV subscribers currently watch more than 100 hours of television per month. This is lower than the average 116 hours that an American spends watching live TV, VOD, and DVR programming monthly but Hulu is catching up considering its live TV service is only about a year old.

Hulu Usage Statistics

4. 47% of Hulu live TV subscribers watch live TV and on-demand content daily

Even though many are now watching a lot of movies with the popularity of online streaming services, most people want the option of having live TV and on-demand content available.

Hulu found that for those who watched both types of content daily, they spent 57% of those hours consuming live content and 43% consuming on-demand content.

5. 78% of Hulu’s viewing takes place in the living room

If you’re looking for an evidence that online streaming services compete with traditional TV companies, this is it. People usually watch traditional TV programs as a way to relax after a hard day of work. The total engagement has equally gone up by 60%.

With online streaming services becoming more popular, they’re taking a chunk out of the time people spend watching traditional TV programs.

Online streaming services are seen as an option to replace traditional TV companies in the future. With 78% of Hulu’s viewing taking place in the living room, this represents millions of hours on Hulu which users would have spent watching traditional TV some years ago.

6. Female subscribers watched an average of 232 hours of Hulu in 2 years

When Hulu looked at the usage pattern between their male and female subscribers, they found no major difference in their usage pattern.

In fact, women also loved watching live sports on Hulu. In total though, women watched more TV on Hulu in 2 years averaging 232 hours during the period. Funny enough, Hulu’s #1 streamer watched 48x more hours than the average viewer.

7. 32 million people view Hulu with ads

For many people watching TV, they hate to see ads. This could be because ads are everywhere and businesses are always looking for ways to get people to buy their products or employ their services.

However, some viewers don’t mind seeing ads if it means they can view content at a low or no price. The company offers its content for $7.99 with the inclusion of ads. For subscribers who want the ad-free package, they’ll have to pay $4 more at $11.99/month.

This is evident in the number of Hulu’s viewership. The company announced that it has 47 million unique viewers across all platforms in 2017. This figure may look confusing considering that the company had 17 million subscribers as of 2017.

But it makes more sense when you consider that a single subscriber could serve a home. Other people in the home can watch on TV or use other devices. Having explained that, it is interesting to note that out of 47 million unique viewers, 32 million of them watched Hulu’s program with ads. This is much higher than half of the total number of unique viewers.

And it shows that people are not as opposed to ads as you would like to think. It’s also an opportunity for Hulu to provide its content for subscribers at a lower cost and attract advertisers to its platform.

8. Hulu accounts for 14% of TV streaming hours

With the increase in internet TV usage thanks to quality media streaming boxes, many companies are competing for viewership. In terms of the share of over the top (OTT) viewing hours, Netflix is by far ahead of other networks with 40% of the viewing hours. Hulu comes in at a much lower 14% of the OTT viewing hours.

However, it must be noted that Netflix has a much bigger subscriber base which will give it a higher number of viewing hours. When it comes to the number of hours of usage per household, Hulu leads Netflix with 29 hours per month compared to Netflix’s 27 hours.

There is still a big room for improvement and many subscribers today now subscribe to more than a service. For instance, 32% of OTT subscribers in 2017 subscribed to 3 or more services compared to only 4% in 2015.

Online streaming services will continue their fierce competition for a few years to come. It’s expected that by 2021, about 200 million US consumers will use an OTT video service or Connected TV at least once a month.

9. Hulu’s highest streamer watched 48 times more hours than the average viewer

If you think you watch a lot of movies, someone is probably somewhere who has a tighter relationship with their UHD TV and watches much more TV than you do. Hulu reported that their heaviest streamer watched 654 movies and 195 different TV series in 2017.

That’s almost 2 movies daily and more than a single TV series in 2 days. If you’re looking for a worst case of binge-watching, you might just have it right here.

10. Hulu’s subscribers watched 36% more comedies in 2017 than 2016

For most people, going to work means a lot of stress for 5 or 6 days a week. How many better ways to relieve stress than to laugh out loud? Many of the service’s subscribers agree with this and watched 36% more comedies than the past year.

The comedy shows that led the way are Blackish which was watched 104% more compared to the previous year, Parks and Recreation which was watched 32% more, Brooklyn Nine-Nine which was watched 29% more, The Goldbergs which was watched 20% more, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia which was watched 20% more.

11. Hulu users prefer to watch with someone

Watching TV alone may be boring sometimes. Part of the fun is in sharing the laughter, or tears, or fear with someone else. If you have a family or a partner, this would increase the amount of time you share together.

Consequently, this would lead to more shared memories and better bonding. This applies to Hulu subscribers too. 59% of them watched with a spouse, 31% watched with children, and 30% watched with friends and family in 2017.

12. The state of Montana has the subscribers with the highest average number of hours streamed in 2017

Do some people in some states watch more TV than people in other states? Or is it just a coincidence? In 2017, Montana had the subscriber base with the highest average number of hours streamed across the country.

This award had belonged to Wisconsin in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, North Dakota was runner-up to Montana and they were followed by Idaho, Alaska, Wyoming, and Wisconsin.

Hulu Content Statistics

13. The Handmaid’s Tale has won 33 Emmy nominations

Every online streaming service producing original TV series needs a show to catapult it into the limelight. For Netflix, it was House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. For Hulu, that title is The Handmaid’s Tale.

For its first season, the TV series received 13 nominations in different categories and ended up winning 8 Emmy awards in 2017. To understand how important the show was to Hulu as a platform, Hulu got 18 nominations overall.

The show has received even more Emmy nominations in 2018 with 20 nominations out of the 27 that Hulu got. Out of the 20 nominations, the show got 3 awards. Apart from the Emmy Awards, The Handmaid’s Tale received 3 Golden Globe nominations and won 2 of those categories in 2018.

This TV series has won other awards apart from these prestigious two. With this TV series performance, Hulu can now get a better audience with Hollywood’s top producers and actors and actresses. With top producers and casts, the online streaming service can continue to attract more subscribers.

Online streaming services are trying to be strong players in Hollywood. Hulu has started original programs since 2011 but only hit the jackpot with The Handmaid’s Tale. With many original shows now, they’re definitely catching up. For instance, Netflix had the highest number of Emmy nominations in 2018, breaking a 17-year old run by HBO.

With a show like The Handmaid’s Tale and other similar shows, Hulu also aims to play in the big league in Hollywood.

14. American subscribers watched more than 107 million hours of South Park in 2017

With Hulu investing in past popular shows and new original content, users are doing a lot of streaming. To put the 107 million hours watched in perspective, that’s more than 12,000 years of the movie watched.

South Park is a popular animated TV series in the US. Apart from TV series, movies also got a large share in viewership. For instance, subscribers watched Daddy’s Home more than 12 million times to make it the most watched movie on Hulu in 2017.

15. Hulu had a budget of $2.5 billion for content in 2017

With online streaming services fighting to get more subscribers to their network, they’re investing more in original content to attract more users. Many online streaming services now compete with traditional TV companies during Emmy awards. Of course, to achieve those feats, it requires big investments. Talking of big investments, Hulu had a budget of $2.5 billion to produce original content in 2017.

Streaming services offer many programs. But what they have discovered is that original content is what brings more subscribers into the fold. This sounds like a lot of money. Or rather, this is a lot of money.

However, it pales in comparison to Hulu’s much bigger rival, Netflix, which spent a cool $6 billion on content in 2017. Still, considering the size of Netflix’s user base and the fact that it’s a worldwide service compared to Hulu that’s only available in the United States, Hulu spent a lot of money on content.

Amazon, the second largest online streaming service, spent $4.5 billion on content. In comparison, HBO spent $2 billion in the same year. On a per subscriber basis, Hulu spends about $200 per subscriber which is higher than Netflix’s $60 per subscriber.

Hulu Financial Statistics

16. 3 major companies have a stake in Hulu

With Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the company has a 60% stake in Hulu. Comcast’s NBCUniversal owns 30% of the company while Time Warner owns 10% of Hulu. With the stakes of these 3 companies, it’s difficult to determine the direction of the company.

This would be an interesting thing to see whether Hulu continues to stay as an independent service or be a part of one of those big companies. When Comcast acquired NBC Universal, it agreed to a hands-off management of Hulu. But it’s still unsure if the company will take on a more hands-on role of the company in the future.

17. Hulu is valued at $8.7 billion

Hulu’s net worth is reportedly $8.7 billion. It’s difficult to get a specific value as Hulu is still a privately held company, unlike its rival Netflix.

The figure was gotten during Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox as both companies had 30% stake each in the company before the acquisition.

Their 30% stake was worth $2.3 billion at the time of the acquisition. In valuation, Hulu is far behind Netflix which is valued at about $135 billion on Nasdaq.

18. Hulu had an expected revenue of $2.4 billion in 2017

Presently, there’s no public record of Hulu’s revenue and it’s not obligated to release it as a private company. However, Statista estimates that the company made $2.4 billion in 2017.

19. Hulu made $1 billion in advertising revenues in 2017

The company announced that it reached $1 billion in advertising revenue for the first time in the company’s history. As much as most people want to hear otherwise, advertising is a part of our everyday lives.

It’s interesting to note that Hulu also grew its subscribers by 62% in 2017 and it’s projected to grow subscriber base by 80% come 2020. The use of ad blockers has increased over the years with many internet users blocking ads while browsing the internet. Many people pay subscription fees to apps and online services to avoid seeing ads.

But the truth is that so far buying and selling goes on every day, advertising will always exist. Advertisers will only find more creative and non-intrusive ways to go about it. Also, not everyone can pay subscription fees for services. Advertising helps to provide services free of charge or at a lower cost. For Hulu, advertising helps to provide content to its subscribers at a lower cost.

For users who can’t pay for the more expensive subscription or don’t want to, they can subscribe to the lower plan with ads. For its offline viewing, the company says subscribers with the lower plan will also have access with the inclusion of ads.

20. Hulu lost $920 million in 2017

Producing original content comes at a huge cost. With the company investing more money in content than it makes from subscribers, it ran at a loss of $920 million in 2017. This is almost equivalent to the $1 billion that its owners invested in the company.

With the success of its hit show, The Handmaid’s Tale, in winning the Golden Globe and Emmy awards and attracting more users, the company is investing more in original content to replicate that success and catch up on its competitors.

The company already has the largest content library but most of these content has been aired previously on other networks and has a weaker pull compared to content that has never appeared on any network in the past. Incurring losses is not a surprise neither is it exclusive to Hulu.Online streaming service is still a growing industry and service providers are trying to consolidate their position as online streaming provides a strong competition to traditional TV companies.

Netflix, which is the largest online streaming service, has been having a negative free cash flow for years and that is likely to continue this year. This is also a result of money spent on original content and marketing.With the fierce competition in the online streaming industry, companies are spending money to acquire subscribers. The strategy of online TV companies is that they’ll attain profit when they have a stable and loyal user base.

Hulu is expected to lose even more in 2018. With more investment in content, the company is expected to lose $1.7 billion.This amount of losses isn’t sustainable in the long term and the company will be expected to start making profits by its investors.


These are some of the interesting numbers behind Hulu. The company is still in a fierce competition with its online streaming service rivals.

This would continue to be an interesting competition and consumers can look forward to better shows and movies from internet TV companies. Make sure to grab your Hulu Black Friday deal this year and enjoy an even cheaper plan!

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