Handmaid's Tale Season 2 poster

Castle Rock and Handmaid’s Tale help propel Hulu to 50 percent growth, 25 million users

Contributed by
Jan 8, 2019

All eyes might be on Netfix and Disney+, but don't sleep on Hulu. Hulu has seen its subscriber base grow by nearly 50 percent on a year-over-year basis, thanks in part to the popularity of its original programs Castle Rock and The Handmaid’s TaleThe streaming video service provider announced that it closed out the year with more than 25 million subscribers, a 48 percent increase from the same time a year prior.

All told, 2018 marked Hulu’s largest gains in signups and total subscribers ever, and the most advertising revenue in the company’s history. And a lot of this had to do with the massive popularity of two original series in particular. 

Castle Rock was Hulu’s highest performing new original of 2018 and the second-highest performing Hulu Original overall for the year, behind only The Handmaid’s Tale. Hulu also noted that the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale experienced a 76 percent increase in total consumption from its debut season. (So it looks as though investing in its original programming really paid off!)

Although Netflix still reigns supreme with its roughly 58 million U.S. subscribers and nearly 80 million customers overseas (all 25 million of Hulu’s subscribers are based in the U.S.), the rival streaming giant should take note at the rapid rise of Hulu’s figures. 

Not only that, but once Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox is complete, Hulu will have more of The Mouse’s money to play with (Disney and Fox each had a 30 percent stake in the streaming platform). In fact, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger has recently said that the plan is to invest in more original programming for Hulu and expand the video on demand service into new international markets.

So, seriously, Netflix. Watch your back.

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