Hulu has original content. Not lots of it, but it’s there. Hulu will not let you forget for instance that it is the home of the feel-good comedy The Hand Maids tale for instance. But take a look at what is being promoted heavily right now on Hulu. It is not the latest original series. It is the upcoming slate from FX. Y The Last Man, Reservation Dogs, What We Do In Shadows, American Horror Story etc. There is also a healthy dose of ABC content advertised as well.
But we must point out something. Just because this content is not produced by Hulu it is original content and its exclusive. And more so, it is owned by Hulu’s parent company. Disney owns FX and ABC. So any content from FX, Fox, ABC, Disney or the numerous studios acquired in the Fox purchase.
Hulu is essentially the home of a lot of buzzworthy TV because of its association with FX. How is this different from Netflix and Amazon? Netflix and Amazon had to build studios and brands. Their originals felt more out of the box. Wait a former DVD by mail company is making its own shows? Wait, a book store is making its own movies? In those cases it was as if the content came out of nowhere. House Of Cards didn’t exist anywhere else…..well ok England, but House of Cards starring America’s sweetheart, Kevin Spacy didn’t exist before Netflix.
But you know what, Y the Last Man didn’t exist on screen before FX and unless you have cable you can’t see it anywhere but Hulu. That’s pretty exclusive. Of course one could also sign up for a cable replacement service to see Y The last man. A service like Hulu with Live TV. And guess what. If users sign up for rival cable replacement services Disney still makes money because those services pay to carry ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN2 The SEC Network, and FX.
This is why Hulu does not need original content as much as other streaming services. Because really it has never been the same kind of offering. It has always been a place to see major network shows without paying for cable. And it still is. Eventually, it will be the home of the Deadpool franchise and any darker content based in the Marvel Universe deemed not appropriate for Disney+. If Disney were to say acquire the Marvel series produced by Netflix you better believe they would not live in the same neighborhood as baby Yoda.
This is not to say that Hulu does not have other originals of note. Steve Martin and Martin Short have blended their talents to Only Murderers In The Building, John Cena, fresh of his run in The Suicide Squad stars in the original movie Vacation Friends and The Great brings us a sort of true story of the Russian monarchy.
But as previous relationships between Hulu and NBC and ViacomCBS wind down make no doubt. The fact that Disney has multiple studios and exclusive content producers puts it in an enviable position compared to most streaming options out there. It’s time to stop acting like original means it has to be produced by a company that never made TV shows and movies before. If it didn’t exist it is new.