At Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony, Hulu emerged a major victor, nabbing two big wins, including best drama, for its breakout hit The Handmaid’s Tale. The night was a milestone for the company, which until last year’s Emmys had never won any major awards, but instead had been relegated to sitting on the sidelines while Netflix and Amazon marched up to the podium for shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Transparent. This year, Netflix won just one Globe for Aziz Ansari’s performance in Master of None, while Amazon matched Hulu by winning best comedy series and best actress for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Two days later, Hulu is capitalizing on its newfound momentum with more good news: The streaming service closed out 2017 with over 17 million subscribers, a 5 million increase from 2016, and grew its total audience to 54 million unique viewers. And for the first time in its history, it hit $1 billion in advertising revenue.
These figures don’t yet make it a serious threat to Amazon and Netflix, which have 90 million and 109 million subscribers respectively. But they suggest that Hulu is playing a genuine game of catch-up after years of relatively stagnant growth, and that the company seems more in-it-to-win-it than ever before. Much of this comes from an increased content spend–the company spent $2.5 billion in 2017–and a harder push for brand-defining series, such as Handmaid’s Tale, which scored big at the Emmys and landed a Golden Globe for Elisabeth Moss as best actress in a TV drama.
Hulu’s growth may be further accelerated as its new live TV service catches on–it…