In a new blog post, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar says the online video joint venture finished the first quarter of 2011 up 90 percent in revenue over the same period last year and is on pace to bring in a half-billion in revenue this year. For context, consider that Hulu claimed $263 million in revenue for all of 2010 and Kilar projects now that Hulu’s content partners will earn $300 million this year.
For a different kind of context, keep in mind that the numbers for the year literally are projections based on current activity and the company’s short history. Hulu’s equity partners News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). NBCUniversal (majority owned by Comcast) and Disney (NYSE: DIS) are public companies and usually cautious about giving guidance that long term and that specific. They also have to file financial data routinely. But Hulu is a private company and Kilar doesn’t have to show the balance sheet. He can publicize some numbers and still stay mum about a lot of details. Unless Hulu files for an IPO or opens its books for another reason, this is as much as we get.
For instance, he says Hulu Plus is still tracking to exceed 1 million subscribers this year. He doesn’t say how many subs it has now.
Some of the other numbers that stand out:
— “User-initiated” streams were up 10 percent over Q410, which is a nice double-digit boost but not huge growth.
— Hulu boasts 50 percent more advertisers — 289 — than Q110, when it had 194.
— Bringing Viacom (NYSE: VIA) back in as a content partner helped Hulu increase its number of content partners to 264 in Q1, up from 211 in Q110.