Hulu Launches Free 24/7 Stream of ABC News Live to On-Demand Subscribers

Hulu has partnered with ABC News Live to bring the channel’s 24/7 live coverage to Hulu and Disney billed on-demand subscribers.

“More than 45 percent of Hulu viewers have either cut the cord or never had cable, and may not have access to live, televised news to receive critical information during times of national crisis,” according to a Hulu release. “Given the rapidly-evolving situation around COVID-19, and to ensure that our viewers can stay informed during this time, we’re partnering with ABC News Live to bring the channel’s 24/7 live coverage to Hulu and Disney billed on-demand subscribers as part of their subscription.”

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Beginning March 20, subscribers to Hulu’s ad-supported and Hulu (no ads) plans can access the ABC News Live stream by visiting the “Hulu Picks” collection.

“With this live stream, we aim to keep our viewers informed during this unprecedented time when having access to information is vital to our communities,” read the Hulu release.

 

Hulu Launching on Comcast Xfinity Flex and X1

Comcast’s Xfinity Flex customers can stream Hulu using the Hulu app on their Flex devices, according to the streaming company.

Xfinity Flex customers new to Hulu will also be able to customize their viewing experience with Hulu features such as Taste Picker and Like and Dislike buttons as well as stay up to date with their favorite shows and movies by adding them to My Stuff.

Current Hulu subscribers can sign in with their Hulu login through the Hulu app on Flex. Flex users new to Hulu can sign up here. Once they have their log-in credentials, they can access Hulu through the app on Flex.

Hulu will also roll out on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 platform within the coming weeks.

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Parks: Industry Awards Boost SVOD Platforms

Everyone loves a winner. New research from Parks Associates suggests over-the-top video services — and their large slate of original programming — will benefit as their recognition during awards season in video entertainment continues to expand.

For this year’s Golden Globes, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon earned a total of 47 nominations, nearly double the 25 they received last year, with the three services winning two awards each.

“Apple TV+ streaming service found success with its flagship series ‘The Morning Show,’ starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, which won awards from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Critics’ Choice Award,” analyst Steve Nason said in a statement. “These accomplishments mark Apple TV+’s first industry awards since its launch in November 2019.”

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Nason said awards recognition brings legitimacy to a platform’s original content and can be a significant boost, especially in the early days after its launch.

“Such recognition certainly helped Netflix when the company first ventured into original content, and now the service scored 24 Oscar nominations this year, led by The Irishman and Marriage Story.”

Netflix’s long-term investment in premium original content has helped the service become very difficult for consumers to relinquish, according to Parks.

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Among Netflix subs, 64% feel it would difficult to give up the service, including 47% who feel it would be “very difficult,” the highest among top OTT video services measured by the Dallas-based research company.

Parks finds that as of Q3 2019, pay-TV and OTT services reach roughly the same number of consumers — around 72% of U.S. broadband households. Pay-TV’s long-reigning dominance has dwindled as the OTT video service market booms.

Hulu Celebrates Women’s History Month

Hulu is celebrating Women’s History Month by bringing viewers a wide selection of TV series, films and documentaries featuring women in front of and behind the camera. The celebration includes the launch of “Defining Moments,” a documentary series that provides an intimate look at 10 people who have left impacts on their communities and broader culture.

Beginning March 5, “Defining Moments” is featuring different subjects as they navigate moments in their lives that forged them into making change. The first episode features “Pose” actress and LGBTQ advocate Dominique Jackson and details the first Christmas in 20 years that Jackson shared with her estranged mother. New episodes of the series will be released monthly on Hulu and YouTube and will feature stories from Sophia Chang, Amy Purdy and Jameela Jamil.

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Hulu is also curating this content into three different female-centric collections. Collections include:

  • “Written & Directed by Women” (March 1-31), featuring titles such as “The Mindy Project,” “Dollface” and Booksmart, that break stereotypes around women in the industry;
  • “International Women’s Day” (March 8), honoring iconic women throughout history and entertainment, including new Hulu Original, Hillary, an intimate portrait of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; and
  • “Made by Her” (March 15-31), which spotlights content on Hulu that was awarded the ReFrame stamp, which serves as a mark of distinction for projects that put women in leadership roles across major areas of production.

 

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To help further drive gender parity in film and TV, Hulu has partnered with ReFrame, a partnership co-founded and led by Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles, to support ReFrame Rise. The ReFrame Rise program, of which Hulu is a 2020 sponsor, provides high-level endorsement and career acceleration for eight experienced female directors who are poised to lead commercial features and high-profile television shows.

 

Hulu + Live TV Launches on PlayStation 4

Hulu + Live TV March 3 became available on PlayStation 4 consoles, the service announced.

PlayStation 4 users are be able to subscribe to Hulu + Live TV, gaining access to both live and on-demand programming from channels such as ESPN, Fox, NBC and ABC.

Current PlayStation 4 users who already have Hulu can switch to Hulu + Live TV through their account settings on Hulu.com. Viewers who are already subscribed to Hulu + Live TV will also now be able to access and watch live channels through the Hulu app on PlayStation 4.

Hulu + Live TV is currently supported by Apple TV (fourth generation), Amazon Fire TV devices, Amazon’s Echo Show, Roku devices, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS and Android mobile devices, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, select LG and Samsung TVs, VIZIO SmartCast TVs, Windows 10, Mac and PC browsers, and Chromecast.

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FX on Hulu Debuts

Viewers March 2 were given access to FX on Hulu, bringing together more than 40 of FX Network’s series, new original FX linear series, and FX originals that are streaming exclusively on Hulu.

Series recently added to FX on Hulu include “Nip/Tuck,” “Justified,” “Damages,” “Rescue Me,” “Thief” and “Terriers.”

March 5 Alex Garland’s (Ex MachinaAnnihilation) first television series “Devs”will be the first original series to make its debut exclusively on FX on Hulu. The limited series follows a young software engineer, Lily Chan, who investigates the secretive development division of her employer, a cutting-edge tech company based in Silicon Valley, which she believes is behind the murder of her boyfriend.

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Additional FX originals, available only on FX on Hulu, include the limited series “Mrs. America” starring Cate Blanchett (April 15), “A Teacher” starring Kate Mara (summer) and the drama series “The Old Man” starring Jeff Bridges (fall).

The FX on Hulu hub will also include streaming premieres of the new comedies “Dave” (FXX) and “Breeders” (FX), season four of “Better Things” (FX), and a new season of the comedy “Cake” (FXX). Each show will air first on their respective FX linear channel, then be available to stream the next day on FX on Hulu.

Hulu subscribers can access the hub within the Hulu app or on the Web at hulu.com/hub/fx_on_hulu.

Discovery Hires Hulu’s Lisa Holme as it Ramps Up OTT Distribution

Discovery has hired away Lisa Holme, VP of content acquisition at Hulu, to spearhead the media giant’s digital content strategy going forward.

Holme’s hire was announced during Discovery’s Feb. 27 fiscal call by Peter Faricy, CEO of global direct-to-consumer, overseeing the worldwide digital and direct-to-consumer businesses for Discovery.

A formal announcement will be made later today.

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Lisa Holme

For the past nine years, Holme, according to her LinkedIn page, has spearheaded Hulu’s content licensing activities, including evaluating content, financial analysis and forecasting, negotiating agreements, and operationalizing deals internally.

More importantly for Discovery, Holme helped define content strategy for Hulu (including collaboration with original content) based on subscriber segmentation, competitive landscape, and a “deep understanding of user engagement and retention strategy.”

Discovery is rapidly deploying OTT video ventures overseas, including PGA Tour Live, Dplay in 10 markets, TVN Player in Poland, and Joyn in Germany.

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Discovery CEO David Zaslav, speaking on the fiscal call, said the company would soon launch a streaming service that includes content from all of the company’s brands, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Food Network and HGTV.

 

‘Looking for Alaska’ Traveling to DVD April 21 From Paramount

The limited series Looking for Alaska will debut on DVD April 21 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Based on author John Green’s (The Fault in Our Stars) award-winning first novel of the same name, the series, which debuted on Hulu in October 2019, is a story of friendship, love and loss.

Looking for Alaska follows Miles “Pudge” Halter (Charlie Plummer) who is searching for a deeper perspective on life and decides to enroll at the boarding school Culver Creek Academy. He finds a loyal group of friends and falls in love with Alaska Young (Kristine Froseth). After an unexpected tragedy, the close group of friends tries to cope with everything they’ve been through and find some answers along the way.

The three-disc DVD set includes all eight episodes, plus more than 40 minutes of bonus content, including 18 never-before-seen deleted scenes and two featurettes that incorporate an exclusive interview with John Green.

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The novel, released in 2005, is a New York Times best seller, a USA Today best seller, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist and one of TIME Magazine‘s 100 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time. Green was awarded the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award for Looking for Alaska, which was also named as one of America’s Best Loved Novels in a national survey conducted by PBS’ The Great American Read initiative.

 

Hulu’s ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Top New, HBO’s ‘Westworld’ Top Returning Shows on March TV Time Anticipation Charts

Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere” was the top anticipated new show and HBO’s “Westworld” was the top anticipated returning show on the TV Time charts for March.

TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the company. TV Time’s “Anticipation Report” is based on data from those users.

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Hulu’s new “Little Fires Everywhere” miniseries, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, hits screens March 18. Based on the Celeste Ng novel, the eight-episode show follows the fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. Coming in at No. 2 on the new show chart was Hulu’s sci-fi thriller “Devs,” debuting March 5. In the series, when a software engineer’s boyfriend disappears, she suspects foul play and investigates the secretive division of her tech company. Behind HBO’s “The Plot Against America” at No. 3 was “Amazon Stories” (No. 4) from new streaming service Apple TV+. The series is a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s 1985 anthology series.

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Among returning shows, coming in No. 2 behind the HBO sci-fi series “Westworld,” returning for its third season March 15, was Netflix’s Spanish teen drama “Elite,” with its season three hitting screens March 13. Netflix also cleaned up on the rest of the returning shows chart with its series taking the No. 3 through No. 5 spots.

 

Most Anticipated New Shows for March:

  1. “Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu) — March 18
  2. “Devs” (Hulu) — March 5
  3. “The Plot Against America” (HBO) — March 16
  4. “Amazon Stories” (Apple TV+) — March 6
  5. “Dispatches From Elsewhere” (AMC) — March 1

 

Most Anticipated Returning Shows for March:

  1. “Westworld” (HBO) — March 15
  2. “Elite” (Netflix) — March 13
  3. “Paradise PD” (Netflix) — March 6
  4. “Ozark” (Netflix) — March 27
  5. “Castlevania” (Netflix) — March 5

 

Kelly Campbell Promoted to President of Hulu

Hulu chief marketing officer Kelly Campbell is being promoted to president of Disney-owned SVOD service Hulu.

In this role, Campbell will manage Hulu’s suite of on demand and live streaming businesses. She will work closely with Disney’s television and film studios on Hulu’s original content, and with other Direct-to-Consumer and International leaders on the integration of key aspects of Hulu’s operations across the segment, according to a Disney press release.

Her promotion follows the departure of Hulu CEO Randy Freer earlier this month.

“Kelly is an immensely talented leader who has been a driving force in defining Hulu’s brand vision and strategy,” said chairman of Disney’s DTCI segment Kevin Mayer, to whom Campbell will report, in a statement. “She has built a tremendous multi-talented team and developed strategic campaigns that helped double Hulu’s subscriber base. Our senior leadership team is excited to welcome her aboard and can’t wait to work together to further grow Hulu’s footprint in the US and beyond.”

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“This is a time of extraordinary growth and transformation for Hulu, and I am incredibly energized by the opportunity ahead as we enter into this next chapter,” said Campbell in a statement. “The Hulu team is among the brightest, most technologically and creatively audacious in the industry, and I know we are going to do great things as part of the pioneering and equally bold team Kevin has built at DTCI.”

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As Hulu’s chief marketing officer, Campbell was responsible for subscriber growth; brand, content and business-to-business marketing; creative development; research and insights; and viewer experience. Prior to joining Hulu, she spent 12 years at Google in various leadership and marketing roles across the Google Ads and Google Cloud businesses, including a year in Google Japan building the online sales and operations functions. She began her career in finance as an investment banking analyst at JPMorgan Chase.