Hulu hopes summer reruns will have viewers tuning into its website for original shows.
The online video site today unveiled (what was widely the worst kept secret in the business) a lineup of 10 shows — three original and seven exclusive to the site — that begin airing in June.
It’s the most aggressive announcement of unique content yet for Hulu, which is hoping the new shows will give viewers extra reason to view online content through Hulu. The site has been focusing more on original content even as its slate of available television shows and movies either shrink or move behind its Hulu Plus pay wall.
The original shows include movie review show “Spoilers” with Kevin Smith, travel series “Up To Speed” with Richard Linklater, and comedy “We Got Next.” The exclusives include U.K. comedy “Rev,” comedy “The Yard,” magic show “Derren Brown: Inside Your Mind,” sci-fi show “The Booth at the End,” drama “Pramface,” drama “The Promise,” and comedy “Little Mosque.”
Hulu also held an “upfront” presentation to advertisers, which has historically been used by traditional networks to pitch advertisers on their upcoming programming, and Hulu has been left out of them since it didn’t offer its own content.
Despite concerns that consumer interest in Hulu is waning, the company said last month that it had reached 2 million Hulu Plus premium subscribers.
This deal is HUGE, because it can allow for aggressive cross-branding within it’s popular repeats of syndicated shows. Add in the fact that these shows can be viewed from mobile devices across the board and this smells of success. But it could also be a train wreck in waiting, as casual audiences have been a tough sell on original web TV content not fronted by a “sexy marquee name” on the bill.