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Hulu Plans to Offer More On-Demand, Less Live Programming
Can Hulu convince media companies to relax their licensing rules? The service wants to make some live channels on-demand only.

Hulu wants to change how it offers live channels. In an interview with The Information, Hulu CEO Randy Freer said he's talking with studios about offering some content on-demand rather than in live streams. Doing so would help the company lower costs while giving it the flexibility to create smaller bundles of live entertainment, news, and sports channels.

Freer believes that model better reflects how people choose to watch television these days. The company currently has over 20 million on-demand customers and over 1 million live video customers. The live customers pay $40 per month for over 50 channels and get access to the on-demand library.

By offering fewer live channels, Hulu would save on live streaming costs. It would then route that savings into additional original programming. Freer says Hulu will increase its original content budget "significantly" this year.

At the moment, Hulu has licenses to stream entire lineups of live channels from media partners. Offering some of those channels on-demand would give Hulu flexibility to create tailored small bundles of live programming.

“We have to be able to evolve so we can provide the customers the news and sports and entertainment in a way that makes sense, bundled in a way that allows us to create packages that have a positive margin,” Freer said.

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