Hulu has signed a five-year licensing agreement with The CW(s twx), the company announced Friday. The deal will bring current season programming, including The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and Supernatural, to both subscribers of Hulu Plus, and Hulu’s ad-supported web-based service.
CW shows will start making their way to Hulu later this year, starting with the nine shows featured in the network’s fall line-up. In addition to the popular titles already mentioned, Hulu will also be streaming episodes of new shows Ringer, Hart of Dixie, and The Secret Circle, as well as returning hits Nikita, 90210 and America’s Next Top Model. That’s fierce.
Seriously, though, this is a pretty big win for Hulu in terms of its ability to appeal to a younger crowd. The CW’s shows do very well with teens, something made evident by the network’s near-sweep of the most recent Teen Choice Awards. Hulu will be the only streaming service (besides the official CW site) to carry in-season CW shows as a result of the deal, which will make the five most recent episodes of a show available the day after broadcast for Hulu Plus subscribers, and eight days after airing on the free, ad-supported version.
Hulu recently decided to call off plans to sell the company, with its management citing a desire to instead continue to “map out its path to even greater success.” Locking down properties that appeal to the young folk (who especially love streaming video) is a smart step down that path.