Whether it’s watching The Tonight Show in the morning or catching Monday Night RAW on Tuesday afternoon, Hulu viewers are familiar with waiting until the next day for their favorite live shows to come to streaming.
That “day-old” feeling won’t last long, as Hulu plans to bring customers live television, as well as a brand-new documentary wing and several other additions to make its service more enticing to cable-cutters.
The Verge reports that Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins confirmed an earlier story by The Wall Street Journal detailing live TV would be coming to the on-demand site. The executive stated that “live programming from broadcast and cable brands” will be coming early next year.
While Hopkins referenced the WSJ story, he did not corroborate every detail – such as reported negotiations with Fox, ABC, ESPN, FX, and the Disney Channel for content, or that the live TV package comes with separate fee of $40/mo.
In addition to as-it-airs telly, Hulu also announced acquiring the rights to The Beatles: Eight Days a Week (working title) – the Ron Howard-directed documentary feature covering the early days of The Fab Four from 1962 to 1966.
Once Eight Days a Week finishes its theatrical run this fall, Hulu will gain exclusive streaming video rights in the US for the feature, making it the first entry in its newly-announced documentary initiative.
The newly-announced ‘Hulu Documentary Films’ will provide “premium original and exclusive documentary film titles” for subscribers, clearly taking a note or two from Netflix’s breakout success late last year with its own original non-fiction series, Making a Murderer.
Hulu also announced the renewals for several of its ongoing programs, including The Mindy Project and The Path, as well as a return of the raunchy rubber puppet Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog in a sequel to Triumph’s Election Special 2016 – set to air just in time for Trumpageddo – I mean, the 2016 election.
Hulu also announced partnerships with Nielsen and Millward Brown to create new measurement tools to better divine what shows are actually gathering a audience across multiple platforms.
The measurement tool will be able to take in viewership data across a wider range of devices, such as Rokus, game consoles, and set-tops like Apple TV – a huge deal for programs that would normally be considered a flop despite huge fan followings online, as seen with shows like Community and 30 Rock.
Finally, the company is also teaming up with ad producer BrightLine to bring users “interactive” bumpers this summer to break up the monotony of seeing the same commercials all the time.
Hrmm…live TV, new ads, and Nielson tracking? Hulu is undoubtedly evolving, but there’s certainly an irony in the service originally meant to buck cable becoming more like it than ever.