Hulu just pulled a Netflix, in a good way. Battleground is a Hulu original series that premiered this past February on the online video streaming service. According to the New York Times, this past Thursday Hulu pitched more original programming at the advertising upfronts presentation in New York. This is a first, as traditionally the upfronts are usually reserved for network and cable television programming. More and more we are seeing television migrating away from cable and towards online, where it can be accessed from home, work or on mobile devices.
Also this week, Hulu released a report that claims their number of paid subscribers just hit the 2 million marker. This may not mean much, but time will tell. Before Netflix created the ultimate blunder of splitting its online streaming and DVD services, it had been seeing subscriber growth of 1 million consumers every three months.
The demand for high-quality, original programming is apparent – no matter where it comes from. Earlier this year, Alloy Entertainment Media, creators of tween-targeted television shows like The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl, demonstrated that web-only shows can indeed become popular. “Dating Rules From My Future Self” is Alloy’s first web-only mini-series (episodes 3-7 minutes in length) has captured the attention of millions (nearly per week). We are certainly in an experimental age of television programming, where audience, advertisers and creators alike are finding original and innovative ways to create high-quality content.
Good television programming can be hard to come by in an era where cheap-to-make and high profit reality television takes up the majority of television’s image. If cable is where the bad shows can be found, good television finds a happy home on in the Internet, where niche programs like NBC’s “Community” or FOX‘s “Fringe” can be ready and available for audiences – and advertisers – to find them, sooner or later. Hulu also licensed 13 television shows that will appear exclusively online. Are we going to be seeing this “Firefly effect” more and more with this coming wave of original programming?
Regardless, we are bound to see more and more high-quality content as the experiments continue. Maybe one day television programming will be like music! Some shows will be mainstream, some more obscure while others are niche, yet unknown. The future is bright for the future of television.
Until next time… Stay tuned!