While Netflix got a lot of attention this week for possibly moving to distribute an original TV series, "House of Cards," an interesting scoop in Adweek notes that Hulu may also be looking to ramp up its original production efforts. According to the article, Hulu has been building two content groups, one focused on branded entertainment and the other on niche comedy and documentaries.
Hulu is of course heavily dependent on programs from its three network partners, ABC, Fox and NBC. Original production is a crapshoot, but Hulu likely has little choice but to try to forge a more independent identity from its partners since NBC is now owned by Comcast and ABC and Fox are both heavily invested in gaining retransmission consent payments from pay-TV distributors which is at odds with Hulu's free model.
Hulu's risk in branded entertainment content is likely mitigated because brands fully fund these productions. As for comedy and documentaries, these are likely very low cost, so they too are probably not a big financial risk for the company. So a mere toe in the water compared to what Netflix is rumored to be contemplating.
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