Today at the Hulu Upfront Presentation at Madison Square Garden Theater, Hulu announced a multitude of innovative advertising tools, original series orders and content licensing agreements, and reported significant audience growth to 47 million total unique viewers. Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins, SVP of Advertising Sales Peter Naylor and SVP and Head of Content Craig Erwich took the stage to unveil the company’s newest advances in technology, content and advertising, alongside Hulu Original Series talent including J.J. Abrams, Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, Sarah Silverman, Mindy Kaling, Jeff Daniels and Josh Hutcherson.
“As we expand our business to offer live TV, we’re also more than doubling our investment in original programming and exclusively licensed content to continue growing our premium streaming library,” said Hopkins. “Coupled with all of the new product and measurement solutions we’re offering advertisers, Hulu is delivering the most compelling, engaging and valuable TV experience to consumers and brands alike.”
Hulu’s 2017 Upfront announcements include:
Hulu Original Series The Handmaid’s Tale Renewed For Season Two
On the heels of its extraordinary week one premiere, Hulu is pleased to announce that it has picked up The Handmaid’s Tale for a second season, set to debut in 2018.
Based on the award-winning, best-selling novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale premiere has been watched by more Hulu viewers than any other series premiere – original or acquired – on the service, drawing acclaim from both fans and critics.
“The response we’ve seen to The Handmaid’s Tale in just one week since its premiere has been absolutely incredible. It has been an honor to work with this talented team of cast and creators to develop a series that has struck such a chord with audiences across the country,” said Erwich. “As we continue to expand our strong slate of original programming, The Handmaid’s Tale is exactly the type of gripping and thought-provoking storytelling we want to bring to viewers. We can’t wait to explore the world of Gilead and continue Margaret’s vision with another season on Hulu.”
The Handmaid’s Tale follows the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States. The series is created, executive produced and written for television by Bruce Miller (THE 100), who serves as the series’ showrunner. The Handmaid’s Tale is executive produced by Miller, Warren Littlefield (FARGO), Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears and Ilene Chaiken. Margaret Atwood is a consulting producer for the series. The Handmaid’s Tale is produced by MGM Television and marks the first collaboration for an original series between Hulu and MGM.
Gripping Drama Series The First and Marvel’s Runaways Ordered to Series
Today, Hulu announced the addition of two new series to its slate of original programming.
The streaming service has picked up Marvel’s Runaways in its first series order with Marvel Television. The fan-favorite and groundbreaking comic book series will be brought to life on Hulu by the team behind The O.C. and Gossip Girl, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Schwartz and Savage will serve as Co-Showrunners/writers and will executive produce the series along with Marvel’s, Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.
Marvel’s Runaways is the story of six diverse teenagers who can barely stand each other but who must unite against a common foe – their parents. The popular classic explores the younger side of the Marvel Universe in a coming of age, new action series that will premiere on Hulu in the winter.
In addition, Hulu announced a straight-to-series order for The First (working title), a drama set in the near future about the first human mission to Mars. The series is created and written by Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, and BAFTA Award-nominated Beau Willimon (House of Cards, Ides of March), who also serves as executive producer alongside his producing partner Jordan Tappis.
The First explores the challenges of taking the first steps toward interplanetary colonization. “It’s a story about the human spirit,” said Willimon. “About our indomitable need to reach for unknown horizons. About people working toward the greatest pioneering achievement in human history. And about the cost of that vision, the danger and sacrifice – emotional, psychological, and physical – that’s required to achieve it. How ordinary, imperfect people band together and overcome a myriad of obstacles to grasp the extraordinary.”
The series will go into production later this year and is slated to premiere on Hulu in 2018. Westward Productions – founded by Willimon and Tappis – will own and produce THE FIRST. The series will be co-financed by Hulu, Channel 4 and IMG.
The First and Runaways join Hulu’s growing original programming slate, which includes The Handmaid’s Tale, The Looming Tower, Future Man, The Mindy Project, I Live You, America, National Treasue, Casual, The Path, Difficult People, Shut Eye and Chance.
Award Winning FX Series Atlanta To Stream Exclusively On Hulu
Today, Hulu also announced that it will be the exclusive subscription streaming home to FX’s award-winning, breakout freshman comedy series, Atlanta.
Following its critically-acclaimed first season on FX, Atlanta took home two 2017 Golden Globe Awards for Best TV Comedy series and Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy for star Donald Glover. The complete first season of the series will become available to stream exclusively on Hulu ahead of its second season premiere, slated for 2018 on FX, and subsequent seasons will become available to stream on Hulu following their run on FX.
Atlanta follows two cousins who work through the Atlanta music scene in order to better their lives and the lives of their families. The series stars Donald Glover, who also serves as Executive Producer, along with Paul Simms and Dianne McGunigle. Atlanta is produced by FX Productions.
The series comes to Hulu through a robust, multi-year output agreement with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution that was first announced in December 2014. The landmark agreement granted Hulu the exclusive subscription video on-demand rights to FX Networks’ Original Series produced by FX Productions. In addition to Atlanta, the deal locked in the subscription video on-demand rights to popular series including You’re The Worst, Baskets and more.
Hulu and BrightLine Introduce First-of-Its-Kind T-Commerce Ad Unit
Hulu revealed that, in partnership with BrightLine, the market leader for advanced TV advertising, it is bringing the world of E-commerce into the living room where 75% of Hulu viewing takes place, with T-commerce. Exclusive to Hulu at launch, BrightLine’s T-commerce ad unit will offer viewers the opportunity to engage directly inside a commercial with a personalized, location based overlay, where viewers can select a movie theater, time and purchase movie tickets all through their connected TV.
The announcement was made today by Hulu’s SVP of Advertising Sales, Peter Naylor, who also unveiled plans to enable capabilities for other brand categories such as retail, quick-service-restaurants (QSR), among others in 2018.
“With almost a decade of experience with advertising in the streaming space, no one is better positioned to help brands grow their business than Hulu,” said Naylor. “I’m proud to say that we’ve doubled down on our commitment to brands. From delivering a validated viewer measurement solution with Nielsen, to offering the first-of-its-kind interactive capability in the living room with BrightLine’s T-commerce ad unit, Hulu is now everything TV should be and everything advertising can and should be.”
Groundbreaking Measurement Solutions Including Hulu DAR and Sales Effectiveness Tools
Starting this fall, all Hulu advertisers will have access to a validated measurement solution across screens. In partnership with Nielsen, Hulu is extending Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) to the living room. With more than 47 million total unique viewers, as measured by comScore — 32 million of which opt for ad-supported content — Hulu’s DAR solution brings accurate, holistic measurement to its advertising partners.
Through this solution, Hulu can now get complete measurement of viewership to streaming campaigns across all connected devices – all verified by a trusted third-party source. Nielsen’s methodology will tag, collect and calibrate the data, leveraging Hulu’s robust first-party subscriber data and other third-party sources as the foundation for measurement. MAGNA, Horizon Media and GroupM are among the first agencies to adopt Hulu’s DAR solution a currency.
In addition, Hulu announced today it will begin to offer sales effectiveness measurement tools through two new partnerships with SambaTV, a leading provider of essential television insights, and Nielsen Catalina Solutions, a leading purchase-based ad targeting and return on ad spend measurement firm. First, in partnership with SambaTV, Hulu will offer a solution for advertisers to measure the results of tune-in campaigns, as well as web-based conversion rates. And, as a certified partner for Nielsen Catalina Solutions Sales Effect solution, Hulu will also offer sales effectiveness measurement for consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers. Both partnerships are a part of Hulu’s larger initiative to help brands measure whether their products or services were sold based on an ad exposure on Hulu.
Live TV Advertising Opportunities for Brands
Following the official launch of its new, cutting-edge user experience and new live streaming service, Hulu’s SVP of Advertising Sales, Peter Naylor, announced that the new product will offer opportunities for advertisers and marketers, including dynamic ad insertion capabilities. The personalized new live streaming service will give brands the ability to reach audiences on cable networks for the two minutes of local breaks per hour. And, in an effort to provide viewers with more timely and relevant ads, Hulu announced it will give advertisers access to the same two-minutes of inventory per hour of cable programming in the cloud DVR environment.