The online video hub will follow in the footsteps of Netflix.
Hulu have unveiled a plan to push their original programming even further in 2014 to complete with the likes of streaming site Netflix. The online video hub, which is owned by ABC, Fox and NBC, is currently a destination for next-day repeats of TV shows that have already aired on those and other networks.
The website has already expanded into hosting original programming and launched three shows in 2013: The Awesomes, Behind The Mask and Quick Draw. Hulu has set a premiere date for a new supernatural comedy, Deadbeat, which is produced with Lionsgate Television and is set to air from the 9th April this year.
Hulu's first in-house show, Morgan Spurlock's A Day In The Life, was first aired in 2011 and ever since the website has been steadily generating low profile but interesting series, including election comedy Battleground and Moone Boy, the second series of which will be available this Spring.
Charlotte Koh, the head of development for Hulu Originals, spoke to CNN about the site's plan for the future. She said the biggest hits have been animated superhero comedy The Awesomes, and BBC co-produced James Corden comedy, The Wrong Mans. "Initially, we were very successful at doing premium content distribution for other people. And as time went on, it made sense for us to have things that were uniquely and distinctly ours," Koh explained.
She said that Hulu is "moving from being a pipe that carries other people's stuff to a service that has a personality and more of a personal relationship with our end user. And I think that's an important evolution for us as a company." Though comedies and documentaries have provided the base for original content, Koh says "we want to try more robust and ambitious projects, and that includes hopefully doing one or two serialized dramas."
The news of Hulu's expansion comes as Amazon are also making a move to generate a wider original provision, with the John Goodman-starring D.C. comedy Alpha House having premiered in November. Koh is keen to point out that although Amazon, Netflix and Hulu may share similarities, "the great thing is we're all doing it together at the same time. So I think that helps shift the consumer mindset about how to look at streaming."
Though Hulu is apparantly not yet profitable, at the end of 2013 it announced that for the first time it had achieved one billion dollars in annual revenue.