Hulu now has more than 17 million subscribers

  • Hulu closed 2017 with more than 17 million subscribers, the company said Tuesday.
  • That's 40 percent growth over the last time the company reported numbers, in 2016.

Hulu had more than of 17 million subscribers as of the end of 2017, the media streaming company announced Tuesday.

Those 5 million new subscribers represent 40 percent growth over the last time the company reported subscribers in 2016, and brings the video streaming company's total audience to 54 million.

"2017 was a momentous year for Hulu. We took several major steps to become a 21st century direct-to-consumer media company, evolving into both an aggressive SVOD business and a formidable new live TV provider," said Hulu CEO Randy Freer said in a statement.

The announcement is also meaningful for Disney, which will soon have a controlling ownership stake in Hulu as part of its acquisition of Fox's entertainment assets, a deal announced last month.

"Owning a third of [Hulu] was great but having control will allow us to greatly accelerate Hulu into that space and become an even greater competitor to those already out there," said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a press conference call after the Fox deal was announced on December 14.

Among other 2017 milestones, Hulu's advertising revenue reaching $1 billion for the first time and its original content nabbed 10 Emmy Awards in 2017. The company also won two Golden Globes this year.

"The year ahead is going to be even bigger, as the company invests more in content – live, library and original – as well as technology and data to make Hulu the leading pay TV choice for consumers," Freer said.

Disclosure: Comcast, which owns CNBC parent NBCUniversal, is a co-owner of Hulu.