Hulu CEO Andy Forssell Talks Originals, Advertising, That Sale That Never Happened

/ Sep 24, 2013

IABMixxForsell

In a one-on-one chat with Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Hulu acting CEO and SVP of content Andy Forsell said his company’s originals command 5% of viewing on Hulu. Looking into the future, Forsell was bullish, saying that he thinks Hulu originals will rise to account for 10-15% of total viewing on the video service.

Forsell also reiterated the success of “The Awesomes,” an animated superhero comedy series from Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. He said the show, which Hulu recently renewed for a second season, is a top 10 show on the site. Similarly, Forsell said people are watching “Quick Draw,” a quirky western comedy set in the 1870s. He said it was also a top 10 show on Hulu and that the company is seeing that people are watching every episode, instead of watching a few and leaving. “We looked at the stats,” said Forsell. “The number watching every episode is amazing.”

That said, Forsell declined to disclose any actual data in terms of viewership for Hulu originals. When asked why, Forsell pointed to a couple of things: 1) On-demand content has a longer shelf life than linear TV, so the company will be able to aggregate a larger audience over the course of months rather than within a limited time frame; and 2) Hulu sells against aggregated audiences rather than individual shows.

“It’s natural for people to ask for ratings,” said Forsell. “When people are desperate for ratings, it goes back to the old way of aggregating audience. We don’t want to put the pressure on any one show to aggregate an audience.” He said that Hulu can be more patient than TV networks and will look to aggregate audience across many shows. “‘The Awesomes’ has done well,” added Forsell, “but we can market [the show] in a way where we can build an audience over the first year. I guarantee that show is going to continue to perform well for six more months.”

That was a major throughline for the speech as Forsell said Hulu reaches an aggregated audience of 80 to 90 million people across Hulu and Hulu Plus “every few quarters.” With its original programming, the goal for Hulu is to give audiences another reason to keep on coming back to the site.

As for competition, Forsell said he does not see a lot of direct competition with its owners. Maybe in five years that will be the case, but right now it’s not an issue. Additionally, while he considers Netflix as competition in terms of being another content buyer, he says it’s not as “head-to-head as most people would think, though we certainly run into them.” At the end of the day, Forsell claimed that Hulu is not missing out on any programming pitches it wishes it had seen.

Rothenberg did open the conversation with a question about Hulu’s second attempt at a sales process, which earlier this summer ended like the previous one did, with no sale. Forsell acknowledged that he can’t say it wasn’t a distraction, but simply credited his team for “keeping their heads down” and staying focused. He didn’t mention what many are claiming to be an exodus of executives at the company.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


YouTube Gaming vs. Twitch

Can YouTube Gaming and Twitch Share the Playground?

 
Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival

Experiencing Virtual Reality at the Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival

 
FlareKids

Cox Communications Sets its Sights On Kids with Flare Kids App

 
OkaleyHelbig

Grace Helbig and Tyler Oakley Tapped to Host Streamy Awards

 
Peter Gabriel CueSongs

Peter Gabriel’s CueSongs Bringing Music to the Online...

 
Matthys

NBCU Vet Philip Matthys To Head Business Affairs For Hulu Originals

 
yanyi

5 Emerging Channels Featuring Female Creators

 
Galaxy Quest

Amazon Studios Going on ‘Galaxy Quest’

 
Here's how musicians should use facebook

Facebook Finally Takes On Freebooting With New Copyright Tools

 
FitnessLogo

FitnessMagazine.com’s SweatTV Enters the Streaming Workout...

 
Difficult People Hulu Billy Eichner Julie Klausner

Hulu Renews ‘Difficult People’ for 2nd Season

 
NGSNLigaMXLogSmash

Soccer Streaming Heats Up As NGSN Pacts With Liga MX

 
DiscoveryVRlogo

Discovery Jumps into Virtual Reality With Discovery VR App

 
rsz_camera-408258_1280

Taming the Online Video Wild West Takes Some Tech Savvy

 
AmazonBox

Amazon Video Follows Netflix to Land of the Rising Sun

 
supergravitypics

Supergravity Pictures Hires Development Duo

 
Muchdigitallogo

Much Digital Studios Launches its First Round of Brand Partnerships

 
Daniel Fisher Playbuzz

Playbuzz Opens Up Shop in The U.K. for its Snackable Content

 
Snapchat

Snapchat Adds Three Big Names to Discover, Eyes New Revenue

 
PBSDigital

Web Series Wednesday – PBS Digital Studios

 
Channel Frederator Network

Channel Frederator Expands its Animation Network with 90 New Channels

 
Hulu gets rid of the plus

Hulu Goes Programmatic with Oracle and LiveRail

 
Divimove

Divimove and Sony/ATV Partner For Digital Music Publishing

 
Star Wars Force Friday Unboxing Maker Studios

Disney Unboxes Maker Studios Talent for Star Wars Product Launch

 
angrybirdstoons

Layoffs at Rovio in The Wake of Restructuring

 
Mike Rothenberg River Accelerator

Virtual Reality – The Rewards, The Risks with Mike...

 
YouTube Gaming

YouTube Gaming Clicks on Start Button

 
comics

Machinima and Michael Bay Team Up for Video-Enhanced Graphic Novels

 
smoshmovie

Smosh: The Movie in Walmart, On its Way to Netflix

 
5922553_orig_opt

Subway: The Series Goes Underground for Laughs

 
CBS

Cablevision Woos Cord-Cutters with CBS Streaming Video Service

 
AndyKaplan

NATPE/Content First Elects Sony’s Andy Kaplan As Chairman

 
Social Media Special-Ops MTV Other

The Truth Behind MTV(other)’s ‘Social Media...

 
Fail Army

FailArmy Comes Out Victorious with Superfan App

 
amazonstudios

Amazon Casts Billy Bob Thornton and William Hurt in...

 
Superfan

Vevo’s Super Fan Showdown Posts Strong Season 3 Numbers

 
Erin McPherson Maker Studios

Erin McPherson and Jeremy Welt Out at Maker Studios

 
raindance web fest 7-29-14

Raindance Web Fest Announces 2015 Independent Series Award Nominees

 
quickflix

Quickflix Calls Off China Deal, Has Netflix Claimed Another Victim?

 
MikeJones

5Qs With Science CEO Mike Jones On FameBit and Original Content