The Handmaid’s Tale has changed the game for Hulu.


But both Hopkins and Hulu senior VP and head of content Craig Erwich gladly admit Handmaid’s has broken out in a way no previous original or acquired Hulu series has done before. While Hulu, like Netflix and Amazon, stubbornly refuses to release actual viewing statistics, Hopkins is willing to go on the record quantifying the show’s success relative to other Hulu originals. “It was the most-viewed launch of a show in our history,” he says, echoing comments he made to advertisers last month. “And I think that trend has continued. The engagement of the viewers is really high. And what I mean by that is that a huge percentage of people are watching every episode. We also just see this massive spike of people coming in and watching it the second that it comes out.” What’s more, Hopkins hints Handmaid’s is driving subscription growth, key for a service such as Hulu. “Every week there are new people joining and starting from episode one,” he says. “We’ve just seen this up-and-to-the-right trend of new subscribers getting in, and existing subscribers keeping up. So it’s something that’s actually growing week to week, [rather than] that normal decay that you see in Nielsen ratings from the vast majority of shows.”