Like many people today, you probably watch TV through a streaming platform. In fact, you probably have a Netlix, Disney+, etc. account. Of course, TV streaming has changed the way Hollywood works for the foreseeable future. One such streaming platform is Hulu. As far as you know, Hulu is just another video streaming platform that has all your favorite shows. Well, do you know when it started? Who started it? Who owns Hulu now? Take a look below at the world of Hulu and how it came to be.
Hulu was created by a group of businessmen in the early 2000s. Among those people is former Miramax Films CEO Mike Lang. It wasn’t until March 2006 that the streaming platform was announced.
Hulu comes from Mandarin Chinese, two words to be exact. Hulu’s first CEO, Jason Kilar, claims the name comes from an old Chinese proverb. Hulu means “pumpkin” in Chinese. The creators of Hulu thought it was a good name as there is a meaning behind it as pumpkins are seen as containers of valuables.
Hulu’s early years
When Hulu was created, Providence Equity Partners (PEP) provided $100 million in equity for a tenth of the shares. Disney followed suit and also joined the board of directors. Disney has also stated that it will be hosting its content on Hulu.
Hulu’s name would not be chosen until August 2007, around the same time that Jason Kilar became CEO. When the site was launched, the show was not available. Instead, they asked for emails to sign up for testing.
Hulu started the campaign starting with the Super Bowl. It was then released to the public on March 12, 2008.
By early 2010, Kilyar stated that they had made a profit in just a couple of quarters and would be making $100 million by the summer. In the first month of 2010, Hulu recorded about 900 million monthly streams.
Hulu’s later years
Hulu will undergo some changes over the next few years. For example, in October 2012, PEP sold its stake and resigned from the board of directors. Then, five years later, Kilyar left. In October 2013, he was replaced by a former network president named Mike Hopkins.
Three years later and in August 2016, Time Warner bought a stake in the company and received 10%. Three years later, in April 2019, Warner Media sold its stake to focus on its own platform, HBO Max.
Under new management – who owns Hulu?
Disney bought 21st Century Fox in March 2019. This gave Disney a 60% majority on the streaming platform. After AT&T sold its shares, Disney’s stake increased to 67%. Comcast, the only other interested party, left and made a deal with Disney.
In May 2019, Disney fully owned Hulu. Disney CEO Bob Iger explained that this will allow for more investment in original content and will also make the streaming service even better.
Hulu under Disney
A couple of months later, in July, Disney restructured the Hulu hierarchy and placed its writing teams under Walt Disney Television. They made so many changes that Disney dropped the CEO role in early 2020. Executives will now report to Walt Disney Television.
In 2021, Comcast blamed Disney for the failure of Hulu’s international factor. Instead, Disney added its own Star brand to the Disney package rather than Hulu in some international markets. A couple of months later, Disney CEO Bob Chapek suggests that Hulu could be added to Disney. beam as it can reduce churn that can be seen separately from streaming services.
In September 2021, Hulu raised prices by one dollar. Later in the fall, Disney and WarnerMedia reached an agreement allowing certain films to be streamed on both of their platforms.
Later, in March 2022, Peacock NBC began removing much of its content in order to fill its library.
Hulu hasn’t experienced as many ups and downs as its competitors. Perhaps it’s because they were one of the early leaders of the streaming industry, much like the rise of Netflix and the endangered Blockbuster. However, I hope we cleared up your question about who owns Hulu.
Most criticize Disney for hoarding too much under its umbrella and leaving the leftovers for the rest. Others fear it could lead to yet another monopoly, like the old days. Regardless, hopefully Disney doesn’t bite off more than it can chew and that the rest of us can enjoy the great content that Hulu has to offer.