Transparency on Hulu live pricing

Kevin Gallagher
Live Streaming TV services

BI Intelligence


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Hulu’s new live TV streaming subscription is likely to cost $40 per month, according to privy sources cited by TechCrunch. This puts Hulu’s service towards the upper-end of similar live TV streaming services like PlayStation Vue and DirecTV now, which cost $40 and $35 per month, respectively, for a starting package. This means that content library and user experience could be increasingly more important factors for consumers looking for a live streaming TV service.

  • Differentiation is a must in an increasingly saturated market. Hulu faces pressure from incumbents like Netflix and Amazon Video, which are focused on original content, and from recent entrants like AT&T’s DirecTV Now and Google’s new YouTube TV, which aim to bring the live cable-TV experience over-the-top. In addition, Hulu’s competitors have already launched, are likely iterating quickly and may have a headstart when it comes to incorporating user feedback to improve their services.
  • Content holes could be the main hindrance to adoption. While Hulu will certainly have a lot of content baked into the service once launched, there are still some major players absent from the offering. One such exclusion is Viacom, which owns MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon and is also absent from YouTube TV. Bloomberg reports the company is struggling to come to agreeable terms with other skinny bundle providers. Hulu is still negotiating with AMC, Scripps, and Discovery Communications.

Over the last few years, there’s been much talk about the “death of TV.” However, television is not dying so much as it's evolving: extending beyond the traditional television screen and broadening to include programming from new sources accessed in new ways.

It's strikingly evident that more consumers are shifting their media time away from live TV, while opting for services that allow them to watch what they want, when they want. Indeed, we are seeing a migration toward original digital video such as YouTube Originals, SVOD services such as Netflix, and live streaming on social platforms.

However, not all is lost for legacy media companies. Amid this rapidly shifting TV landscape, traditional media companies are making moves across a number of different fronts — trying out new distribution channels, creating new types of programming aimed at a mobile-first audience, and partnering with innovate digital media companies. In addition, cable providers have begun offering alternatives for consumers who may no longer be willing to pay for a full TV package.

Dylan Mortensen, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, has compiled a detailed report on the future of TV that looks at how TV viewer, subscriber, and advertising trends are shifting, and where and what audiences are watching as they turn away from traditional TV. 

Here are some key points from the report:

  • Increased competition from digital services like Netflix and Hulu as well as new hardware to access content are shifting consumers' attention away from live TV programming.
  • Across the board, the numbers for live TV are bad. US adults are watching traditional TV on average 18 minutes fewer per day versus two years ago, a drop of 6%. In keeping with this, cable subscriptions are down, and TV ad revenue is stagnant.
  • People are consuming more media content than ever before, but how they're doing so is changing. Half of US TV households now subscribe to SVOD services, like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, and viewing of original digital video content is on the rise.
  • Legacy TV companies are recognizing these shifts and beginning to pivot their business models to keep pace with the changes. They are launching branded apps and sites to move their programming beyond the TV glass, distributing on social platforms to reach massive, young audiences, and forming partnerships with digital media brands to create new content.
  • The TV ad industry is also taking a cue from digital. Programmatic TV ad buying represented just 4% (or $2.5 billion) of US TV ad budgets in 2015 but is expected to grow to 17% ($10 billion) by 2019. Meanwhile, networks are also developing branded TV content, similar to publishers' push into sponsored content.

In full, the report: 

  • Outlines the shift in consumer viewing habits, specifically the younger generation.
  • Explores the rise of subscription streaming services and the importance of original digital video content.
  • Breaks down ways in which legacy media companies are shifting their content and advertising strategies.
  • And Discusses new technology that will more effectively measure audiences across screens and platforms. 

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. » START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. » BUY THE REPORT

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