How Hulu's Live Service Is Doing In The Numbers

Hulu has cemented itself as one of the top places to be for streaming content in recent years, and critically-acclaimed series like The Handmaid's Tale guarantee that the Hulu buzz won't die down any time soon. As much as you might think of originals like Handmaid's Tale or Castle Rock when you think of Hulu, however, the streaming service has also found success in the arena of live television. New numbers indicate that Hulu is doing quite well with its relatively new live TV service.

The live TV option for Hulu launched last year, and the streaming service now reports (via USA Today) upwards of 1 million subscribers, and that is no small deal. Hulu expected to take a significant loss in 2018 due to the pricy process of launching a live TV service, and that was following a substantial loss in 2017. Taking into account the subscribers to live TV and the subscribers who only shell out the bucks for the regular streaming option, Hulu can now boast more than 20 million users. None of this is to say that Hulu won't report losses for 2018, but it bodes very well for the future.

It is this live TV option that really sets Hulu apart from its main streaming competitors. Netflix is undeniably king in the streaming sphere and Amazon has some very high-profile projects in the works with Prime (along with the allure of free shipping), but neither offers live streaming TV like Hulu. Given the way Hulu is trying to win the commercial game over Netflix, we may want to count on Hulu continuing to find more and more success in the coming years. Perhaps it's only a matter of time before Hulu stops reporting losses!

Only time will tell. Although Hulu's live TV certainly has its appeals, it's not the only live TV streaming option. On top of digital providers like Sling and DirecTV Now that have resulted in more and more TV viewers cutting the cords of their traditional cable packages, YouTube launched its own live TV option that is similar to what Hulu offers. Hulu will have to continue developing to stay toward the top of the game. It's a good sign for the streaming service that a recent report claims that Hulu and one other outlet are actually beating Netflix in quality.

Hulu has a plan to raise awareness about its live option to viewers who may still be hooked to traditional cable packages. The company put together a commercial to air before and during the 2018 Emmys broadcast that features not only stars from Hulu series (including Samira Wiley of The Handmaid's Tale) but also star athletes (such as Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff) and stars of broadcast network series (like Sofia Vergara of Modern Family). Take a look!

If you want to give Hulu live TV a shot, you can subscribe for $39.99/month. There are a lot of exciting shows hitting the airwaves soon in the fall TV premiere season, so the time is now to find a way to gain access to primetime.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).