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Why Is It Called Hulu? [Here’s Everything We Know]

Why Is It Called Hulu

The word Hulu has its origin in Mandarin Chinese but originally it is an American video streaming service. It was founded in 2007 by joint ventures that majorly include Fox, NBC, Disney ABC, and others. At the time of its launch, it was one of its types that didn’t have any content to show its audience, rather it invited users to test the beta version. The story doesn’t end here. Instead, it started with why is it called Hulu.

What is Hulu?

Hulu is an on-demand video streaming service that offers its users TV shows, movies, trailers, webisodes, and Hulu Originals. It was founded in 2007 by joint ventures and is now fully owned by The Walt Disney Company.

Why Is Hulu Called Hulu?

The word Hulu neither belongs to an English dictionary nor was misspelled or mispronounced. Instead, it comes from Mandarin Chinese where it has two different meanings that eventually suited the purpose of the company.

According to the Hulu blog,

“In Mandarin, Hulu has two interesting meanings, each highly relevant to our mission. The primary meaning interested us because it is used in an ancient Chinese proverb that describes Hulu as the holder of precious things. It literally translates to “gourd,” and in ancient times, the Hulu was hollowed out and used to hold precious things. The secondary meaning is “interactive recording.” We saw both definitions as appropriate bookends and highly relevant to the mission of Hulu.”

As explained on their blog, Hulu aims to offer exclusive content that is likely to be on demand by the users. Since it was not an English word and sounds fun, it increased the chances of it getting in trade high.

Hulu In 2007

Initially, Hulu could be accessed at no cost but later, it came up with a subscription-based model.

What is Hulu Plus?

It is a subscription-based model and at present, you get three options; Hulu (with ads starts @$5.99/month); Hulu (no ads starts @11.99/month); and Hulu+Live (with ads starts @64.99/month). Nonetheless, you can take 30 days trial and switch or cancel the subscription anytime.

How to access Hulu?

You can access Hulu only if you’re somewhere in the US. The company hasn’t gone global yet and that’s the reason it can’t be accessed directly outside the US. Still, if you are eager to watch shows on Hulu, you can try logging in via VPN.

Fun fact

Unlike other OTT streaming services, Hulu is popular for its ads in addition to the exclusive content. On Hulu, 42% of its traffic is boosted by the ads themselves. On top of it, it made $770 million just on ads in the year 2015.


Over the years even if the service is limited to one region, it has seen immense growth and the ads play a big role in that.

If you like the article ‘Why is it called Hulu’, please do mention it below. And don’t forget to tell us how did you like our series of how brands got their names.

By Vishal

Meet Vishal Negal, a digital marketer and tech enthusiast with over 8 years of experience. Specializing in creating comprehensive how-to guides, in-depth reviews, and engaging tech-related content.


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