‘The live TV market is robust’: Hulu CEO Randy Freer talks about accelerating subscriber growth and profitability at the company

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‘The live TV market is robust’: Hulu CEO Randy Freer talks about accelerating subscriber growth and profitability at the company

Hulu will add more subscribers in the second half of the year than it did in the first half, CEO Randy Freer said Business Insider’s IGNITION Conference in New York on Tuesday.

“We think the live TV market is robust,” Freer said. “DirecTV Now announced their numbers in 3Q. We grew 10x of where DirecTV was. We’ll have our best October, our best November.”

DirecTV, which is owned by AT&T, reported that it added 49,000 new subscribers in the third quarter. Hulu’s live TV offering launched in 2017 and added 3 million this year through May, to top 20 million subscribers. At that rate, his comment suggests that Hulu will have more than 23 million subscribers by the end of the year.

Freer said he’s optimistic about the opportunity to grow the business, while the industry should focus on profitability.

“I think we all have to ultimately run a business that can turn profit,” he said. “We closed the gap on margin from where we started by 50%, and we see that continuing. Our ad revenue has grown north of 50% over the last year.”

Looking ahead, Freer said live sports will be on Hulu’s radar.

“We’re a subscription driven business, and we know over history that sports has a tendency to drive subscriptions,” Freer said. “We will certainly be evaluating sports as an opportunity and hopefully be at the table when the time comes.”

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