Hulu is spending a bundle on programming this year: Its content budget for 2017 is around $2.5 billion, CEO Mike Hopkins said Thursday.
Mike Hopkins has been CEO of the U.S. streaming service since 2013, the successor to founder Jason Kilar. For much of its first decade, Hulu was embroiled in corporate infighting between owners including Disney, Fox and NBC Universal, but Hopkins has had a stabilizing influence on the brand.
Hopkins was something of a surprise choice for the job because he was never regarded as having the kind of tech-visionary status Kilar enjoyed. But the appointment of a longtime Fox executive well-versed in the kind of delicate diplomacy required to lead affiliate-sales negotiations was seen as advantageous.
Hulu has flourished under Hopkins, who has presided over many significant changes to the venture including an aggressive expansion of both its original programming and licensing efforts. But 2017 brought the biggest change yet, when Hulu launched a skinny-bundle package of TV channels that aims to compete with traditional pay TV.
Hopkins knows the traditional TV world well having spent nearly 17 years as president of Fox Networks Group, where he oversaw distribution, sales and marketing. He graduated from California State University, Long Beach, and got his MBA at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.