Breaking its silence on matters of finance, two-year-old online movie and TV streamer Hulu has announced that it is profitable, and has been so for at least the last two quarters. Hulu says that it earned more than $100 million in total revenue last year, and is on track to surpass that mark in the first half of this year. Hulu has grown to become the second-largest online streaming site in the U.S., and now streams more than one billion videos each month.
There’s been an increasing amount of buzz recently that Hulu’s ad-supported model is not viable long-term and that the company will be forced to put in place a pay wall to sustain itself. The company’s recent revelation of its profitability and continued growth may be at least partially a shot at critics of its free model. With top video streaming site YouTube looking to finally turn a profit in 2010, online video may be coming into its own as an attractive revenue source for content providers and advertisers.
I have Hulu to thank for introducing me to the sublime Arrested Development, which I missed during its (tragically) brief broadcast run. Insiders, do you watch TV shows or Hulu’s limited-but-growing library of film titles on the site? Is Hulu’s ad-supported model, which includes such innovations as letting viewers select the ad experience they want to have, going to continue to sustain the site’s growth? Do you mind having ads interspersed with your movies or TV shows if it enables you to get free content?