Hulu Buys Seinfeld: Multi-Million-Dollar Deal Propels Online Video Streaming Industry

Hulu Buys SeinfeldOn Wednesday, April 9, Hulu announced that it signed a deal with Sony Pictures TV, buying the exclusive streaming rights to all nine seasons of the popular sitcom Seinfeld. The show will debut on Hulu in June of this year.

Hulu is an online video streaming company based out of Los Angeles, California. It offers a selection of TV shows and movies to subscribers. Although not public, the company is backed by industry giants including 21 Century Fox, NBC Universal, and The Walt Disney Company.

Fast Growth and More Content for Hulu

The reported $180-million deal for all 180 episodes works out to $1.0 million per episode. Despite the hefty price tag, Hulu thinks it is money well spent because the “new” (or rather newly added) show will bring in new subscribers.

Also in the announcement is Hulu’s multi-year deal with AMC Networks. This gives subscription video on demand (SVOD) rights to AMC’s new and upcoming comedy and drama series, including Fear the Walking Dead, a highly anticipated companion series to The Walking Dead.

Hulu has enjoyed enormous growth over the past year. Wednesday’s announcement suggests that it now has nearly nine million subscribers; a growth of 50% over the last year. Moreover, total streams have gone up by 77% in the first 90 days of this year. This means that, on average, each subscriber is watching 30% more content.

Online Video Streaming: Tens of Millions of Subscribers

Thanks to the Internet, online SVOD has become a lot more popular over the past decade. The freedom to choose which episode you get to watch and when has made online SVOD a much better option for on-the-go mobile users. It is also much more convenient than sitting in the living room and waiting for your show to air on TV.  Perfect for the commute home, each episode of Seinfeld is just 22 minutes long.

Bringing a classic sitcom to an online platform is a great move; it will be loved over and over again by those who grew up with Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer in the 1990s. What’s more, it will be discovered by new generations.

There is competition in this business. Netflix is way ahead in the game with 57.4 million subscribers worldwide. Moreover, Friends, another popular sitcom in the 90s, became available on Netflix on January 1 of this year.

In this booming industry, Hulu is rapidly growing despite tough competition.