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Hulu hits 28 million subscribers

All those megadeals make a difference.

Handmaids gather in the rain in an episode of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale

Handmaids gather in the rain in an episode of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, which won 2017's Emmy for best drama. 

George Kraychyk/Hulu

Hulu has crossed 28 million subscribers, the streaming-video service said Wednesday, up from the 25 million it disclosed in an end-of-year recap in January. 

Hulu has been on a discount blitz in the last six months. In November, it offered a 99-cent-a-month rate for new subscribers to its ad-supported tier in the first year, which at the time cost $8 monthly. In February, Hulu dropped this plan's standard cost by $2 to $5 a month. And then in March, it kicked off a new bundle with Spotify, basically letting anyone who subscribed to the music-streaming service's $10-a-month premium service also get Hulu's ad-supported tier free. 

Of its total member count, 26.8 million monthly were paid subscribers and 1.3 million were promotional accounts, the company said during its Newfront presentation to advertisers in New York. 

Still, that's basically one-fifth the size of Netflix, which reported 148.9 million paid members last month. 

Although smaller than Netflix, Hulu was one of the vanguards of streaming television. As Netflix has secured its dominance, Hulu has grappled with a crowd of rivals to be one of the other services most consumers sign up for. That competition is set to grow. Traditional Hollywood giants like DisneyTime Warner and others plan to launch their own versions of Netflix this year.

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