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Hulu Revenues Rise 60% to $420M

Hulu announced that its revenues increase 60% to $420 million in 2011 and that the web video site plans to invest $500 million in content in 2012.

In a blog post Thursday, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said the gains came despite a soft advertising market in the second half of the year and "materially exceeded our plan."

Hulu's owners, including News Corp., Disney and Comcast, set up an auction to sell the web video site last year, but ultimately decided it was strategically important to keep control as alternative viewing grows.

Kilar also said that Hulu plus has reached 1.5 million paid subscribers, reaching that market faster than any video subscription service in U.S. history.

"As you might expect based on the 2011 results mentioned above and our recent launch of Hulu in Japan, we as a team are very bullish on where things go from here. We have conviction that digital ultimately becomes the primary way that consumers across the globe choose to access content," he said.

He added that because Hulu has added a subscription component to its business, it is able to pay content owners higher licensing fees than other online services.

"At scale, our model allows us to profitably pay content owners approximately 50% more in content licensing fees per subscriber when compared to other similarly priced online subscription services. We believe our approach will enable us to secure more valuable content for our users and to secure content in more attractive windows than would otherwise be possible," he said. "To that end, we are excited to invest approximately half a billion in content in 2012 on behalf of our users."