The video streaming wars are intensifying day-by-day. Nowadays, streaming is one of, if not, the best ways to watch all your favorite TV shows and movies. In this article, we will discuss who Hulu is and what services they offer, a little bit about their industry and competitors, and how to buy Hulu stock.
Who is Hulu?
Hulu is a streaming and on-demand video service that allows users to stream popular TV shows in the United States and Japan, with international expansion slated for 2021. The California-based launched to the public in the U.S. on March 12, 2008.
Hulu originally started as a joint venture among broadcast networks and developed its audience on shows from Fox, NBC, and ABC. It’s now fully controlled and majority-owned by The Walt Disney Company Disney (NYSE: DIS).
Disney, which was already a co-owner of Hulu since 2009, acquired Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA)’s stake in Hulu for $6 billion in 2019 as part of a deal to have Comcast abandon its bid to acquire a major chunk of 21st Century Fox.
Hulu focuses primarily on streaming its own original content and newer TV shows over documentaries or movies. This streaming service has current shows from NBC, ABC, Fox, and Food Network; older ones from CBS; and the Seinfeld library. It’s also home to classic original shows, including The Handmaid’s Tale, High Fidelity, and Utopia Falls.
Hulu had 30.4 million paid subscribers as of December 2019, compared with 25 million paid subscribers in late 2018. However, it still lags far behind main competitor Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), which had nearly 167 million paid subscribers globally (including 60 million in the U.S.) as of December 2019.
Hulu offers four subscription tiers to cater to varying consumer preferences: Basic ($5.99 per month), Premium ($11.99 per month), Basic + Live TV ($54.99 per month), and Premium + Live TV ($60.99 per month). Hulu Premium offers customers ad-free viewing while Basic is ad-supported.
Former Disney CEO Robert Iger said in a statement announcing the Disney-Comcast deal that he expects Hulu to hit 40 million subscribers and post a profit by around 2024. “Hulu represents the best of television, with its incredible array of award-winning original content, rich library of popular series and movies, and live TV offerings,” Iger said.
“We are now able to completely integrate Hulu into our direct-to-consumer business and leverage the full power of The Walt Disney Company’s brands and creative engines to make the service even more compelling and a greater value for consumers,” he added.
Hulu’s largest competitor is Netflix. With over 167 million paid subscribers in over 190 countries, Netflix is by far the biggest player in the streaming space.
The company began its streaming service in 2007 and has cultivated massive franchises like Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, The Witcher, House of Cards, and Narcos.
It offers three different streaming tiers: Basic, Standard, and Premium. In the U.S., the Basic streaming plan costs $8.99 a month while the Standard one costs $12.99 per month. The Premium plan costs $15.99 a month.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is a video streaming service operated and owned by online retail giant Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN). Like Hulu and Netflix, Amazon Prime offers a variety of content spanning both television and film, from classic to current.
This service puts out top-notch movies and original shows such as The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, which won eight Primetime Emmys in 2019.
Amazon offers the service either as a perk for subscribers of its $119 annual ($10.99 per month) Prime shipping service, or as a stand-alone option.
You can also subscribe to Prime Video without an Amazon Prime membership for $8.99 per month in the U.S. and £5.99 per month in the UK.
Hulu IPO rumors
Hulu was widely expected to go public in 2010. At the time, the New York Times citing people familiar with the matter, ran a piece on August 15 revealing Hulu’s possible plan to go public through an offering that would have valued the company at more than $2 billion.
Unfortunately, the IPO never took place. However, there is an indirect way to own a piece of Hulu by purchasing shares in Disney.
How to Buy Hulu Stock
Though Hulu isn’t a public company yet, there are still plenty of profit opportunities that Hulu owner Disney offers to its investors. Disney’s interest in streaming is not limited to Hulu.
The entertainment juggernaut also owns Disney+, which is home to Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and National Geographic content.
In addition, Disney owns ESPN+, a premium streaming service with 7.6 million paid subscribers that offers exclusive sports coverage, events, and original sports programming.
With Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+, Disney has indeed established a strong foothold in the streaming industry.
Given Disney’s broad reach and following, it is no surprise that its shares are a frequent object of investor attention.
Here’s a guide on how to buy Hulu stock:
– Decide where to buy the stock directly from Disney or through an online broker. If you want to buy the stock through an online broker, we have narrowed down the list to three options:
- TradeStation -Best platform technology
- Webull -Best for short-term investors
- TDAmeritrade – Best overall
– Research Disney stock and the company’s management, revenue, earnings, net income, and its businesses, including Hulu.
– Determine how much money you want to invest in the stock.
– Place a stock buy order.
On-demand video streaming is big business, and Hulu is at the forefront of that. According to research carried out by Markets and Markets, the global on-demand video streaming market is projected to grow from $38.9 billion in 2019 to $87.1 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 17.5% during 2019 to 2024.
Disney’s complete takeover of Hulu and launch of Disney+ puts it in a strong position in the market.