Will Hulu Become a Blockbuster?

44 Comments

Hulu has grown a huge audience this year, but what happens when you compare its business to the feature film world? The social media marketing firm Buzzpoint sent us a well-designed yet daunting infographic they made while wondering when Hulu might finally become a “blockbuster” — born, according to managing director Jeffrey Appelbaum, out of conversations they were having internally about the site’s plans for monetization. We’ve broken it down below, and you can also download a full version here.

It’s worth pointing out that Hulu is just one distribution platform for pre-made content, and thus comparing its revenue to that of a Twilight film doesn’t necessarily match up. But given that its October 2009 audience was much larger than the attendance figures for said Twilight film does raise questions about whether it’s reaching its full potential.

This conversation may change dramatically in 2010 if the proposed subscription plan goes into effect, or if the result of NBC’s acquisition by Comcast means that Fancast Xfinity and Hulu aren’t actually “complementary” after all, or if the service truly does make DVRs irrelevant, or if… Well, there are a lot of ifs for Hulu right now. But 2010 will probably be the year many of them are resolved.

44 Comments

WebVisible

I think we are going to see hulu step in with a membership model that fills the gap. Unless, of course, itunes gets there first.

healthy chocolate

Hulu’s revenue is based on ad dollars not ticket sales. You’re not accounting for the production cost of movies vs. Hulu’s content syndication, among many other factors.

IRS Tax Lawyer

I can’t believe we live in a world where the opening weekend of Twilight ($142MM) blows the projected yearly revenues of Hulu out of the water.just amazing!!

executive desk

Hmmmm Because they have entirely different business models and sit at different places in the value chain so a more valid comparison would be to compare a distribution website with the movie theater business, or DVD business, or HBO, etc.

Western Australia Flowers

I think the people at Buzzpoint are actually pretty explicit in the infographic that Hulu is neither a movie nor are movies the core part of Hulu’s strategy.

Local SEO

“Further proof that Hulu is going to start charging its users in 2010.”

I couldn’t agree more. With netflix and redbox both kowtowing to the studios and not releasing ‘new releases’ for 28 days-while blockbuster gets them immediately I think we are going to see hulu step in with a membership model that fills the gap. Unless, of course, itunes gets there first.

HollaBack

Very interesting stuff. The academy award for awesome infographic of the year goes to… these guys. And on another note, I don’t ever want to pay for Hulu!

Anonymous

This comparison is apples to oranges. Hulu’s revenue is based on ad dollars not ticket sales. You’re not accounting for the production cost of movies vs. Hulu’s content syndication, among many other factors.

Even with a modest fill rate of 60%, Hulu’s monthly revenue is damn good for most websites it’s size.

Buzzpoint would be better off comparing Hulu to a traditional television network, not summer blockbusters.

This graphic is a massive waste of time.

Adam

Love this graphic. To me, it’s still insane how successful Hulu has been, considering just a few years ago no one believed that Internet content could make any money.

ub

Does it make a difference now that Comcast owns NBC?? They may change the way we use Hulu altogether (Pay per view, subscription services etc.)

Medisoft

I remember back when only geeks knew about Hulu, it’s a great site, obviously mainstream now. Looking forward to the future of it and other movie / show content sites!

Teresa

I watch Hulu because I DON’T have a DVR! And it is available at anytime I choose to just stop and chill. I have told many friends about Hulu as have many others obviously. As a devoted fan, I really hope Hulu isn’t going to change the way things are right now.

drake

haha. no, it’s not apples to lamposts…. it’s web content vs hollywood…. which in a sense is like apples to lampposts

iCeD

Now that’s a sweet infographic. I can’t believe we live in a world where the opening weekend of Twilight ($142MM) blows the projected yearly revenues of Hulu out of the water. I guess that’s the power of Edward Cullen.

S. Maroni

Do the people at Buzzpoint realize that Hulu is not a movie? Are these guys from another country? This analysis is laughable. Further proof that nice looking slides do not equal valuable analysis.

Stripes

Um, I think the people at Buzzpoint are actually pretty explicit in the infographic that Hulu is neither a movie nor are movies the core part of Hulu’s strategy. The point is comparing an online content model (Hulu) to a extremely old model (Hollywood). And the comparison is pretty friggin compelling

S. Maroni

Jeff- How can you compare a distribution platform with a single piece of content? They have entirely different business models and sit at different places in the value chain. A more valid comparison would be to compare a distribution website with the movie theater business, or DVD business, or HBO, etc.

Micah Styneck

What’s most interesting about this graphic is that this information comes at a peak in Hulu’s growth. What is this info was compiled six months ago? A yr? Even with all the box office flops this year, I’d rather be a c-list movie producer than an a-list online content publisher.

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