Hulu to cross 23 million subscriber mark by end of 2018

Just like everybody else, it's much smaller than Netflix.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
2 min read

Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale won a best drama Emmy last year. 


Hulu will top at least 23 million subscribers by the end of the year, Chief Executive Randy Freer indicated Tuesday, saying that it'll add more members in the second half of 2018 than it did in the first. 

Alongside Netfix, Hulu was one of the vanguards of streaming television. But as Netflix has solidified itself as streaming video's dominant gotta-have-it subscription, Hulu is grappling with a crowded field of competitors to be one of the other services that most consumers sign up for. That competition is going to only grow more cutthroat, as traditional Hollywood giants like Disney and Time Warner ramp up their own versions of Netflix to launch next year. 

"Netflix has solidified their place for now," said Freer, speaking at the Business Insider Ignition conference in New York. "Everybody else is going to fight out over what those four or five other selections are."

But Hulu expects to add more members in the second half of the year than it did in the first, he said. Hulu said it crossed the 20 million member mark in May, an increase of 3 million subscriptions since January. That indicates Hulu's subscriber base will surpass 23 million by the end of the year. 

By comparison, Netflix expects to have 146.5 million members worldwide by the end of 2018. 

After starting out as a site to watch yesterday's TV shows online, Hulu has widened its vision to include edgy originals like The Handmaid's Tale and Castle Rock and live TV channels. 

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