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Hulu now has 12 million subscribers, but growth is slowing

Sean O'Kane

Hulu has come to New York this morning to make a big presentation in front of advertisers, and one of its highlight announcements is big subscriber growth. Hulu says that it now has 12 million subscribers, up from 9 million this time last year. That's generally good news for Hulu — it's growing; people are using it — but it means that Hulu's growth has slowed somewhat. Between 2014 and 2015, Hulu saw 50 percent growth, so this is a notable dip. It also means that Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins was wrong when, at this very same event last year, he promised, "2015 is the year Hulu will break out."

Hulu is still being crushed by Netflix

For context, Netflix has over 77 million subscribers. That's not an entirely fair comparison since Netflix is available globally and Hulu is primarily available in the United States. But it illustrates both Hulu's potential and how far behind it is, even as what's arguably the second best known streaming service.

Hopkins points to a little bit of everything to explain Hulu's growth, generally referring to its original series and the addition of new TV shows and movies. "In 2016, we’re going even bigger and bolder," Hopkins says in a statement. "We’ll expand our offering with more premium content and brand new ad measurement products that will continue to make Hulu the leader in choice for seamless entertainment and advertising experiences." So get excited. Even if Hulu's original content still isn't thrilling, 2016 will be the year it delivers the ad measurement products we've all been waiting for.