Hulu, alongside Netflix and Amazon Prime, has become a major player in the world of streaming services. However, it’s happening at a massive price. In 2017 alone, the company lost nearly $1 billion when all was said and done.
According to Variety, the streamer ended up losing $920 million in 2017, compared to the $531 million it shed in 2016. The loss is being attributed to not only spending more on original content but launching its live TV service. While Hulu’s live TV certainly accounted for a major piece of that loss, it’s also important to look at what content the service launched last year.
In 2017, Hulu premieres The Handmaid’s Tale, Marvel’s Runaways, Future Man, and Dimension 404. Additionally, it ordered the miniseries The Looming Tower and debuted several documentaries, including Becoming Bond, Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine, and Batman & Bill.
It’s hard to blame Hulu, though. In a world where Netflix seemingly releases new shows every week, the streaming service is simply trying to keep up.
However, as Variety points out, Hulu’s services, including its live TV package and the on-demand options, are only available in the United States. Meanwhile, Netflix has deployed worldwide. While Hulu revealed they ended 2017 with over 17 million subscribers, it’s a far cry from the 118 million Netflix has amassed around the globe.
While services like Hulu and Netflix claim they have massive amounts of money to spend on new content–Hulu previously said it planned to spend roughly $2.5 billion in 2017–eventually, a profit has to be made. Given that Hulu’s investor’s include companies like Comcast, Time Warner, Disney, and 21st Century Fox–which is about to be purchased by Disney–chances are the well is going to run dry eventually.