In the battle for second and third place behind the runaway leader Netflix, Hulu’s recent aggressive content acquisitions and programming have nudged its perception metrics in a more positive direction, but it is playing catch-up with Amazon Instant Video, which has been on a roll since the start of the year.
In Hulu’s way: Amazon Instant Video passed Hulu in two key perception metrics since the first quarter of 2015, fueled by a head start in programming, buzz and awards since last year. Also, Hulu has been criticized for carrying ads on even its pay service, although they announced a new “$12 a month, no commercials” plan recently, which still costs more than ad-free Amazon Instant Video service and Netflix.
Since “Seinfeld” premiered on Hulu on June 24th, Hulu’s potential revenue metrics increased a modest amount: the company went from 16% of consumers considering purchasing them (i.e. Hulu Plus) the next time they were shopping for a streaming content service to 18% by the time the summer was over. Word of mouth among adults 18 and over also inched up, from 8% having talked about Hulu with their family and friends, to 10% over the same time frame.
Hulu clinched the streaming rights for “Seinfeld” at the end of April for $180 million or about $875,000 an episode. By comparison, Amazon spent $2 billion on content in 2014 alone and just announced acquiring the streaming rights to the entire "Sex And The City" TV series.
Amazon Instant Video, mostly lagging or equal to Hulu in those same key metrics through much of last year, broke past Hulu in the first quarter. In January, Amazon took home two Golden Globes Awards for its series “Transparent.”
Amazon Instant Video’s purchase consideration surpassed Hulu last December and has been on an upswing since then, going from 17% of consumers considering buying them next time they were in market for a streaming service to 22% now. Word of mouth really broke out in early April 2015, rising from 9% having spoken about about it with family and friends to 13% by September 10th.