With the news a few weeks back that Yahoo had made a secret bid for Hulu, the rumor mill has been kicking into overdrive about the future of the video streaming site. Google reportedly are also very keen on acquiring the on demand giant, with Microsoft monitoring things as well. So should Hulu sell up, and if so, who to?
The premium video site is the second largest in the world behind Google’s YouTube and we spoke about how they could be used together. All of the juicy premium content that Hulu have the rights to, would turn YouTube into the ultimate video goldmine. Some have already suggested a name for the Hulu YouTube monster, YouHuluTube. Google look the best suited company to buy Hulu for that reason, as well as the fact that they probably have more funds to spend than their rivals if this turned to a bidding war.
Yahoo turned out be the mystery bidder last month and have established themselves as the first major company to show an interest in Hulu. Mashable reports that Yahoo are willing to pay up to $2 billion for the video site, but the true value of Hulu is unclear. Yahoo will be looking for at least 5 years of guaranteed content at the quality which they currently have. Hulu has reportedly promised this to any potential buyer.
Microsoft is another potential buyer, they are the type of company who would benefit from a video service. They could use it as their reply to Google’s YouTube as well as integrate it with their Xbox 360 games consoles to offer more on demand video. Microsoft also have funds to spend on Hulu but they seem the most unlikely to buy them because they acquired video calling service, Skype for $8.5 billion, back in May.
There is still the matter of Hulu actually being realistically sold. The problem being that they are owned by 3 different major companies and so they would all need to approve the sale for the deal to go ahead. It is NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment and Disney ABC who own majority stakes in the company. As you can see, Hulu’s owners are all in the TV industry and so provide the site with the best quality content. If any of these companies drop out then it will significantly harm Hulu as their business is built up on the quality of the content they provide.
We recently saw that Hulu’s biggest rival, Netflix would be launching to parts of Europe next year, expanding their services. Do Hulu need a big company like Google to sweep them off their feet and take them around the world? We think so, especially because Netflix will get stronger, but it looks like the task of a superhero keeping all of the content providers satisfied. Let us know your thoughts on the future of Hulu by leaving a comment.