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Survey: Only 19% of Hulu Users Use Service to Enjoy Current Seasons of Network TV; Hulu Originals Fare Better

David Satin

Times are a bit uncertain for Hulu at the moment. The service is still caught in a bit of limbo between NBCUniversal, who owns 33% of the service, and the Walt Disney Company which owns the rest. Disney has the option to buy the remaining third of Hulu beginning in 2024, but the recent ouster of now-departed CEO Bob Chapek and return of former CEO Bob Iger raises questions about whether Disney will follow through.

In the midst of that uncertainty, Kagan Research, a division of S&P Global, has done a survey to find out what content people are engaging with most when they use Hulu. The survey found that fewer people than ever are using Hulu to watch current seasons of network TV shows, with only 19% of respondents saying that’s what they primarily enjoy on the service. On the other hand, 25% of current Hulu users say they most enjoy Hulu original shows.

The number of users enjoying new episodes of network TV on Hulu saw a sharp decline just in the last year. A big part of that decline is largely attributable to the fact that Hulu lost the next-day streaming rights to all NBCU shows earlier this fall. Those series migrated from Hulu to NBCU’s fully-owned streamer Peacock.

The fact that its original shows are so well-regarded, however, is good news for Hulu. An impressive array of original titles helps steaming services retain customers when they’re done with the content they originally came to that service to enjoy.

The survey also showed some interesting differences between those who identified as frequent Hulu users (watching the service more than once per week), and those who were infrequent users. Frequent users were even more likely to enjoy the service’s original shows, while infrequent users were more likely to log on for past seasons of network TV.

These numbers demonstrate that Hulu also has a strong back catalog of shows that aren’t on TV anymore. They may not be the main draw to the service, but they will keep users subscribed to — and paying for — the service, even if they aren’t accessing its content on a regular basis.

The future of Hulu will be much-discussed in the coming months, but the numbers from Kagan show that the service is on strong footing. With a slate of original programming that’s highly popular among its users, and a robust catalog of older TV series to fall back on, Hulu is poised to keep adding to its current subscriber base of 47.2 million users.

Hulu

Hulu is a video streaming service that gives access to thousands of full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, kids shows, and Hulu Originals like The Handmaid’s Tale.

It offers a good selection of current TV shows and its ad-supported tier is cheaper than both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You will be able to watch most shows from networks like ABC and Fox, and cable channels like FXX, FXM, HGTV, and more.

The service has a Limited Commercials plan for US$ 7.99 a month, or you can upgrade to their No Ads plan for US$ 14.99 a month. For US$ 69.99 a month, you can get Hulu Live TV from major cable channels, live locals and regional sports networks.

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