While many SVOD platforms struggled in 2017, Hulu had an undeniably good year, bolstered by the critical and awards season success of its dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale. Now that the calendar has moved into 2018, Hulu is looking to continue gathering momentum, and among other strategies, it plans to roll out “emerging content” that could feature digital creators.
Joel Stillerman, who joined Hulu as its Chief Creative Officer last May, discussed his company’s original programming roadmap during Variety‘s Entertainment Summit at CES. As he explained, future original programming will fall into three categories: “core content” will double down on the success Hulu has had so far, “brand elevating” projects will look to engender additional praise, and “emerging content” will offer up shorter videos led by digital talent.
While Netflix and Amazon are commonly thought of as Hulu’s biggest competitors, emerging content would take cues from the leaders in short-form online video. “If you have 15 minutes in your day, it would be things you would open and look at in a ways not different from Facebook and YouTube,” Stillerman said.
These shorter clips could a significant financial benefit for Hulu. They will be relatively cost-effective, theoretically allowing the SVOD platform to spend more monetary resources within its other two original content categories.
In addition, the emerging content will give Hulu a chance to “incubate new talent,” Stillerman said. He didn’t indicate which particular creators his company will work with, but Hulu has shown an interest in the world of social media stars. It worked with YouTube standout Freddie Wong on an anthology series called Dimension 404, and several digital creators appear in the teen horror-drama Freakish.