Hulu Beats Netflix In New Domestic Subscriber Sign Ups For Q1 2019

Hulu Susbcribers
Legos in the shape of the Hulu logo (Photo: Garrett Heath / / CC BY 2.0)

In its latest subscription report, Hulu boasted that it had gained more US subscribers that rival Netflix for the first quarter of the year. According to the Los Angeles-based entertainment firm, its customer base in the United States now stands at around 28 million subscribers; a 3 million jump from its reported 25 million subscribers at the start of the year.

In a presentation to advertisers in New York this week, Hulu revealed that 26.8 million of its 28 million subscribers are paying customers. The rest of the subscribers are using promotional accounts. Despite having earned a significant amount of new subscribers in the United States, Hulu is still far from reaching Netflix's total user base, which reportedly now stands at around 60.2 million.

Netflix's domestic subscriber growth has however slightly slowed down, which is why it has been overtaken by Hulu in terms of new US subscribers acquired for this year. The Walt Disney Company, which owns a controlling 60 percent stake in the streaming firm, reported in 2018 that Hulu had around 23 million paying subscribers. Compared to Hulu's roughly 3.8 million domestic paid subscriber increase, Netflix only reported a 1.74 million net domestic paid subscriber increase during its earnings report for the first quarter of 2019.

In an attempt to further bolster its new domestic subscriber growth, Hulu has announced that it will be offering a number of promotions this year. The first of which was a significant price drop for its subscription, an enticing offer to television fans given Netflix's recent price hike.

The drop in price was initially rolled out in February, which saw Hulu's popular monthly subscription rates drop from US$7.99 per month to US$5.99 per month.

Coincidentally, Hulu unveiled its price drop a week after Netflix announced that it would be increasing its monthly subscription rate from US$10.99 per month to US$12.99 per month. Netflix's cheapest subscription plan is currently much more expensive than Hulu's standard plan.

To add more value to its subscription plan, Hulu recently partnered with Spotify to offer customers a joint plan that will cost just US$12.99 per month. The plan includes access to both services at a significantly discounted rate.

To complement its Hulu streaming service, which mostly airs popular television shows, Disney will be launching its own streaming service called Disney Plus. Unlike Hulu, Disney Plus will be geared more towards children and families. Analysts believe that lowering Hulu's prices would likely allow subscribers to purchase Disney's new service on top of their Hulu subscriptions. 

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