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: , , , , , , ,


Geico YouTube

Geico Made YouTube Ads That You Wouldn’t Skip Even If You Could

NBCDigital

REPORT: NBCU Targets Comedy SVOD Service for 2015

Community

WATCH THIS: ‘Age of Yahoo’ Trailer for...

Netflix Beasts of No Nation

Netflix Finishes Deal for Idris Elba War Drama ‘Beasts of...

Machinima_logo_red

Machinima Hires First-Ever Chief Revenue Officer

NewsToKnow

Tuesday 3.3.15: News to Know

RLJ Entertainment's Urban Movie Channel

RLJ Entertainment Adds on Acquisitions Execs

Discovery Seeker

Discovery Launches Seeker, a Digital Network Focused on...

2 Chainz smokes a giant weed pipe

2 Chainz Smokes ‘Most Expensivest’ Joint in Season...

Weird Al looks bemused...

Above Average Debuts New Season of ‘Sound Advice’...

Netflix is coming to Australia

Netflix Confirms Launch Date for Australia, New Zealand

Decoding TVOD Event

Decoding TVOD with Vimeo and VHX: How to Sell Directly to Your Fans

NetFlix

Netflix Buys Idris Elba-Starring War Drama ‘Beasts of No...

wet hot american summer

Netflix Sets Premiere Dates for ‘Wet Hot American...

NCAA March Madness

March Madness Is (Officially) Coming to YouTube

newfronts

AOL Unveils Cast, Premiere Date for First Long-Form Series

Arianna Huffington 3-2-15

‘Venture into the Extraordinary’ with 7 Days of...

cbs interactive

CBS Interactive Launches In-House Branded Content Studio

Buzzer_480x400_100B_wg (2)

Driven by Facebook, Fox Sports Nets Huge Viewership for...

NewsToKnow

Monday 3.2.15: News to Know

YouTubeMusic

The 2015 YouTube Music Awards Announces Winners, with Original...

WebMD

WebMD Teams with Robin Roberts to Launch First Original Series

Today Show on YouTube 3-1-15

5 Emerging TV Channels on YouTube

Virtual Reality in VideoInk

So When Will Virtual Reality Reach the Masses? The End of 2016?

Virtual Reality in VideoInk

How Video Creators Have Explored the Cool and Weird Corners of VR

vice

Vice Media to Launch Channel for Women

NewsToKnow

Friday 2.27.15: News to Know

FRANCE DAILYMOTION

Dailymotion: the French Online Video Champion Is 10 Years Old...

HouseOfCards

7 Interesting Facts About ‘House of Cards’ (Welcome...

Havas Yannick Bollore MIPTV

Havas Chief to Keynote at MIPTV 2015

Fox Digital Studio Parallels

Netflix Picks Up New Fox Digital Studio Movie ‘Parallels’

Other Client List Assistants Panel 1

Web Series 3.0: Stepping Out of the Shadow of Film and TV

Virtual Reality in VideoInk

Immerse Yourself in the World of These 11 Virtual Reality Companies

devin supertramp

Barco to Showcase Three-Screen Movie Format with Devin Supertramp

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler 2-4-15

FCC Votes Yes on Net Neutrality

Mark Malkoff

Mark Malkoff Debuts New YouTube Series for Kids

Digg TV is a new playlist feature on Digg Video

Digg Rolls Out Digg TV, Curated Playlists for Lean-Back Viewing

Grace Helbig Hannah Hart

Contradiction Films, Legendary Revive ’70s Classic with...