Hulu on Thursday unveiled new series and development projects, including an animated skein from “Saturday Night Live’s” Seth Meyers before a crowd of 700 people at the Internet vid giant’s first upfront presentation in Gotham.
Jean-Paul Colaco, Hulu’s senior VP of advertising, told Variety that marketers were “looking for a soup-to-nuts update on all things Hulu,” he said. “I don’t think people realize the magnitude of the impact we’re having with audiences,” he said.
Netcos want to prove they merit a bigger piece of the overall ad pie and Hulu was first up at the so-called Digital Newfronts, plopped in the middle of cable upfront events before big broadcast nets take the stage in mid-May.
Hulu told the crowd that last month, Americans watched 2.5 billion videos, or about 1,000 videos a second on the service, which has 38 million unique users a month. They said it reps 20% of the overall online video marketplace, and 40% of the premium video marketplace. It has deals with all the big broadcast networks except CBS and 360 total content partners.
Hulu revenue hit $420 million in 2011. As of last quarter, it counted more than 2 million subscribers to its Hulu Plus SVOD service.
Colaco said Hulu stressed ease of buying, different options available to advertisers, and the fact that it’s branching into original content, some of which it funds itself and some that comes from outside partners. Scripted drama “Battleground” and Morgan Spurlock docu-series “A Day in the Life” launched on Hulu and Hulu Plus earlier this year.
The new skeins Hulu unveiled are both aimed at young men, a demo that is believed to be a Hulu stronghold.
Meyers’ “The Awesomes,” from toon producer Bento Box, revolves around an unassuming superhero and his cohorts battle diabolical villains, paparazzi, and a reputation as second-class crime fighters. It’s set to bow next year. Meyers and Michael Shoemaker are exec producers.
“We Got Next,” slated to bow later this year, centers on four friends who butt heads on the basketball court. It comes from scribes Kenya Barris and Hale Rothstein and helmer Danny Leiner.
Projects in development include “Don’t Quit Your Daydream,” based on the documentary by helmed by Adrian Grenier and John Loar. It will feature a cast of famous musicians who travel across America in search of artists to collaborate with on a new song and a chance at stardom.
“Flow” revolves around a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who has to uncover hidden worlds in order to clear his name from a crime he didn’t commit. Project is being shepherded by Michael “Dooma” Wendschuh, co-founder and president of Sekretagent Studios, and David Belle and produced by Agility Studios and Shine Group.
Hulu’s lack of experience in mounting an upfront event was evident Thursday morning outside the Times Center as media buyers crowded the sidewalk between 7th and 8th avenues until the doors opened at 9:30. Unlike traditional upfronts, press attendance was extremely limited due to space constraints, Hulu said.