San Antonio Is Finalist For Big Hulu Expansion

Mar 8, 2017

Texas Public Radio has learned that San Antonio is a finalist for a major technology expansion.  TPR Tech reporter Paul Flahive has learned a city delegation returned Tuesday from a meeting in Santa Monica, Calif., with well-known video streaming giant, Hulu. 

After five months of negotiations, San Antonio is one of two cities in the running for Hulu’s Viewer Experience Headquarters.  The other finalist is in New Mexico.

“They would be bringing a significant component of their operation to San Antonio. And, basically handling tech support and engaging directly with their customers on the viewer experience, and informing the products design the content, the look and feel and reporting back to corporate on what that should look like,” says San Antonio Economic Development Foundation CEO Jenna Saucedo-Herrera.

In a whirlwind trip, Saucedo-Herrera, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, TechBloc’s David Heard, and Judge Nelson Wolff flew to Los Angeles Tuesday morning and pitched Hulu on the benefits for locating in San Antonio. Representatives from Hulu have visited San Antonio multiple times and have evaluated potential sites.

The Viewer Experience Headquarters would bring 300 jobs immediately and increase its workforce to 500 in 2018.  

Judge Nelson Wolff expects those technology jobs, including software developers and engineers, to be high paying. The center would also employ customer service support.  Wolff says the lowest salaried positions would earn more than $40,000 and include benefits.  

At least 100 of the jobs at the center would be new hires, according to earlier reporting by Reuters, which said the facility would open this fall.

Wolff says Bexar County is offering around $800,000 in incentives to attract Hulu.  The city and state are also sweetening the pot, but details of those incentives aren’t available. 

“It would be a marquee company for San Antonio,” says Judge Wolff, and TechBloc CEO David Heard agrees.

"I know the politically correct thing to say is it's about the jobs but for me the name is a big deal. Five hundred jobs is incredible, but it is an opportunity to build momentum and everyone knows Hulu." 

Hulu's expansion comes as it prepares to launch live-streaming channels along with its on-demand services.

Hulu currently employs 1,500 people worldwide. The city selected is expected to be announced in the next two weeks.