It may be all about the original content for companies like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon, but never discount the full catalog. Presenting to advertisers, Hulu touted aggressive moves to combat the rise of Netflix and Amazon Studios.
The first is the licensing deals. How does streaming all nine seasons of Seinfeld sound? For a show about nothing, it has serious legs. The cast has to be enjoying the syndication checks.
Hulu trotted out Jerry Seinfeld to cap their pitch to advertisers. He was quick to point to online streaming as the future of consuming entertainment.
“That people will only watch television like this in the future is so obvious.”
Terms of the Seinfeld deal have not been disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal is reporting Hulu is paying $700,000 per episode. With 180 total episodes, you are looking at around $130 million for the exclusive streaming rights.
Hulu Licensing Deals
Additional licensing deals were announced with major television networks. Hulu announced a multi-year deal with AMC Networks for exclusive on-demand rights to new and upcoming programming.
Networks included in the AMC deal include AMC, IFC, BBC America, Sundance TV and WE tv. The key takeaway on the AMC deal is Netflix retains the rights to current shows, including Better Call Saul and Mad Men.
Hulu will have access to the upcoming programming, like The Walking Dead spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead.
Hulu Original Content
This is where Hulu has been coming up short. While it produces original content, there hasn’t been that buzzed about show. Something you have to watch.
11/22/63 is the company’s attempt to fix that. Enlisting JJ Abrams and James Franco, the event series is based on the Stephen King novel about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Slated for a 2016 release, Franco will play the role of a high school teacher who time travels in an attempt to prevent the assassination. JJ Abrams involvement sells me on the watching it, but Franco is an either or actor. You either like his role or you immediately despise him in it.
Other original content includes the comedy Difficult People from Amy Poehler, Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner.
The Way was also promoted during the presentation, along with YouTube star Freddie Wong’s comedy series RocketJump: The Show. Both will premiere later this year.
Hulu scored a needed win with securing the rights to Seinfeld. It’s loved by millions, and now portable. The original content catalog is an open question.
Is a JJ Abrams event series enough to combat Netflix and Amazon?