Hulu has just struck a content partnership with Viacom to return “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” to the content platform.
The deal also includes other TV Shows from Viacom’s media networks, including Comedy Central, MTV, BET, VH1, Spike TV, and TV Land to the Hulu Plus subscription service. Viacom had previously pulled the two Comedy Central shows from Hulu last March. Financial terms of the new agreement were not disclosed.
From the release: Under the agreement, current full episodes and clips of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” will be available on the free ad-supported Hulu.com service and through the Hulu Plus subscription service beginning February 2, 2011. In addition, Viacom will make available to Hulu Plus subscribers a selection of current programs, like Jersey Shore, Tosh.0, Teen Mom 2, Manswers, Let’s Stay Together, and Hot in Cleveland 21 days after they air. Viacom content availability on Hulu Plus will vary on a show-by-show basis.
This is a big deal for Hulu. Even when Hulu first convinced Viacom to distribute Colbert and The Daily Show back in June 2008, it was a major milestone for the then young video service. Viacom subsequently pulled the content, deciding that they needed Colbert and Jon Stewart more than they needed Hulu, especially since Vicacom wasn’t really monetizing the content on Hulu.
But with Hulu’s subscription plans and massive advertising, Viacom sees the potential for pulling in revenue now that Hulu is pulling in hundreds of millions in revenue. Hulu’s subscriber count is expected to pass 1 million this year and Hulu Plus as a business will have a revenue run rate north of $200 million this year. And Hulu now has 30 million monthly users, traffic which Viacom simply cannot ignore. Clearly, there must be some sort of revenue share but neither company is revealing the terms.
Of course, Viacom has not brought CBS’ content to Hulu. Yet. Perhaps the media giant is testing the waters before bringing all of its television content to the platform
But with Viacom putting its content back into Hulu, this shows that big media companies have confidence in the platform once again. And this is surely going to help Hulu’s planned IPO in 2011.
For Hulu CEO Jason Kilar’s take on the new partnership, check out his post on here.