Hulu Hires Richard Irving as VP, Product Development

Hulu recently hired Richard Irving as its vice president of product management. His first day on the job was July 18, 2016.

Working out of Hulu’s Seattle office, Irving is expected to help guide the company’s long-term product strategy, establish product team goals, and align cross-team efforts, according to Multichannel News. He’s also expected to help drive product management for the company’s subscription video on demand (SVOD) service. He is working out of Hulu’s Seattle office.

At Hulu, Mr. Irving is expected to drive product management for the company’s upcoming live streaming release. This over-the-top pay TV service is expected to deliver a streamlined bundle of broadcast and cable channels, as reported in June by Multichannel News. The service is the result of an initiative between Hulu, 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, and Comcast’s NBCUniversal. The projected cost to viewers is estimated about $40 per month.

Prior to joining Hulu, Irving had an 18-year career with Microsoft. Some of his responsibilities focused upon the user experience for Xbox apps on Windows 10, iOS, Android, and Microsoft Live. His work led to six Microsoft patents including speech recognition and e-commerce. At Hulu, Mr. Irving will report to Ben Smith, also formerly of Microsoft. Mr. Smith is now Hulu Senior Vice President and head of experience.

What Does This Mean for Cord Cutters?

Quite a bit, actually! Hulu and other streaming services are gaining popularity among cord-cutters. It’s safe to assume that Hulu brought Irving on board to help improve its product. This likely will inspire Amazon and Netflix – Hulu’s biggest streaming competitors – to up their games. When huge corporations began to compete with each other to be the best in the market, the end result is exciting new developments at lower prices. In other words, it’s the exact opposite of the cable TV monopoly.

Streaming services currently are offered at relatively low monthly prices, when compared to cable TV. That said, these services require an Internet connection, which means streamers still have to shell out for a monthly bill to their local cable service provider. (This has made some wonder if cord-cutters can have cable Internet?) For some cord-cutters who simply can’t go without their beloved sports teams or favorite programs, streaming continues to be a viable option.

Here’s how Hulu currently compares to the two other popular streaming services:

Service Monthly Cost Yearly Cost for basic streaming services Commercials Licensed Content Exclusive Content Approximate Number of Titles
Amazon Prime Video $8.99 (Upgrade service for $10.99 per month.) $107.88 ($131.88 for upgraded service.) No Recently-released movies Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle and The Man in the High Castle 5,000
Hulu $7.99 ($11.99 for upgrade service without commercials.) $95.88 ($143.88 for upgraded service.) Some MTV, Fox, Disney, NBC and several cable channels Casual, The Mindy Project, and Seinfeld 10,000
Netflix $7.99 $95.88 No DreamWorks, Sony, BBC, Starz, NBC, Fox, ABC, and CBS House of CardsOrange Is the New Black, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 25,000

Note: Amazon Prime has even more packages for $99/month, which includes additional services such as free two-day shipping, unlimited movies and TV shows, unlimited music streaming, and more than one million e-books.

A Last Word About Streaming…
The decision to add streaming is one that each cord-cutter has to make for him or herself. If you’re not sure which streaming service would be best for you, try they all for free. Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix each offer a free, 30-day trial period. Before you give them a call, you’ll need a streaming device. We recommend the MyGica ATV-1800E. You’ll also need Internet service, which is offered by your local cable company. They’ll probably be happy to welcome you back, but welcome their monthly bill? It’s something you must consider if you want to stream content.

Congratulations, Mr. Irving!
Everyone here at Solid Signal wish Richard Irving continued success in his new venture with Hulu. We believe this could be a good move for Hulu and streaming and over-the-top content as a whole. When service providers battle to attract top talent, it increases the level of competition between them. This typically leads to innovation and development, which ultimately benefits the viewers. Only time will tell how much of an impact Irving will make to Hulu… and how Hulu’s competitors will respond.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.