Report: Yahoo in Talks to Acquire Hulu (Again)
The gradual transformation of Yahoo, led by former Googler Marissa Mayer's aggressive software acquisitions and internal reorganization strategy, appears to be moving ahead at full steam. Now, according to a new report, the company is in talks to snap up online video site Hulu.
Initially launched as a free, advertiser-supported video aggregation site in 2007, today Hulu's premium service, Hulu Plus, has garnered well over 4 million paid subscribers, in addition to those who watch for free. While that trails far behind the roughly 36 million Netflix streaming subsribers, it nevertheless makes Hulu a viable player in the race to monetize online video, a strategy even the leading video site, YouTube, is reportedly only just beginning to consider.
The news of Yahoo's interest in Hulu comes via All Things D in a report that claims Mayer met with the company's executives recently in what is termed as a "getting-to-know-you" meeting. According to the site's sources, no firm bid has been made for the video site, but the meeting itself is a hint at Mayer's interest, particularly in light of Yahoo's recent failed bid to acquire another high-profile video site, Dailymotion. Yahoo's bid to purchase a majority stake in the France-based site, reportedly worth roughly $300 million, was ultimately blocked by the French government.
Yahoo already boasts a significant online video audience of its own at about 55 million unique viewers per month, second only to YouTube's 150 million unique viewers, according to comScore. But acquiring a rapidly growing online video subscription service like Hulu could supercharge Yahoo's recent efforts to establish more major video content partnerships.
Neither Yahoo nor Hulu has commented on the rumors.
Hulu Tops 4M Paid Subscribers, Reveals New Original Shows
The company said subscriptions to its Hulu Plus service doubled last year to reach the 4 million mark in the first quarter of 2013. Hulu also set a new record for paid subscriber growth during the quarter, adding nearly a million members between January and March.
"Overall, Hulu continues to grow very quickly," Hulu's acting CEO, Andy Forssell, wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "In Q1 of this year, we set new records for revenue, and for the first time ever, Hulu viewers streamed more than 1 billion content videos in a single quarter."
Mobile viewing is also growing at a "significant rate," he added. It will account for about 15 percent of viewership in 2013-2014. Living room viewing accounts for 29 percent of content consumption.
Hulu Plus Tops 3 Million Subscribers
Hulu announced today that it now has more than 3 million paying Hulu Plus customers, a number that has more than doubled since last year.
Its new subscribers will help Hulu reach about $695 million in revenue this year, Kilar said. That's up about 65 percent from last year, when it was just over $400 million.
Kilar also touted the growing amount of content available on Hulu and Hulu Plus - up 40 percent this year.
"We now have more than 430 content partners, providing over 60,000 TV episodes, 2,300 TV series, and 50,000 hours of video on Hulu and Hulu Plus," Kilar wrote. "In 2012, we invested more than $500 million in content. Since the launch of Hulu in October 2007, we have generated over $1 billion for our content partners."
One of the "highlights," Kilar said, was the launch of Hulu Kids and an expanded partnership with Viacom. "Hulu Plus has become the only online video subscription service with current season content from Nickelodeon," he wrote.
Hulu Plus Reaches 1.5 Million Paid Subscribers
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar on Thursday published a blog post detailing some of the streaming video site's highlights from 2011, boasting that Hulu Plus now has more than 1.5 million paid subscribers.
Kilar said Hulu Plus hit that milestone faster than any other video subscription service in the U.S., adding that it is currently gaining twice as many subscribers each day than it was this time last year.
Kilar seems to have high hopes for the continued success of Hulu Plus, too; he predicted that subscriptions will make up more than half of Hulu's business later in 2012.
Hulu's owners might be glad they didn't end up selling the site. Kilar said Hulu saw its business grow 60 percent from 2010 to 2011, reaching around $420 million in revenue.
Content available on the platform expanded significantly last year, too—up 40 percent on Hulu and 105 percent on Hulu Plus.
"Hulu Plus is the only online video subscription service that offers current season content from 5 of the 6 largest U.S. broadcast networks, with shows from the CW and Univision added this quarter," Kilar said.
It doesn't hurt that Hulu is owned by Disney (which owns ABC), News Corp. (which owns Fox), and Comcast (which owns NBC Universal), all three of which have exclusive content deals with their respective networks and Hulu.
Netflix, Hulu Coming to Kinect, Windows Phone 7 Getting Update
LAS VEGAS – Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show here Wednesday night, introducing a variety of product updates, including gesture- and voice-based access to Netflix and Hulu Plus via Kinect and an upcoming software update to Windows Phone 7.
Ballmer announced that Microsoft sold 8 million Kinect devices in its first 60 days; well ahead of the projected 5 million. "This has been the biggest holiday and the biggest year ever for Xbox," Ballmer said.
Taking advantage of this new user base, starting this spring, Xbox users will be able to control their Netflix streaming queue or Hulu Plus account via Kinect. Rather than clicking through movies or TV shows via the remote, users can use gestures or voice commands.
"We will make entertainment more interactive, more social, and more fun for everyone, and we'll do it like no one else can," Ballmer said.
Hulu Plus Launches at $7.99/Month
Hulu has become one of the most poplar places online to stream video since it debut a few years ago. The cool part about Hulu is that not only can users get current programs that they may have missed on TV, but the site has lots of cool old shows from decades past to entertain viewers. When Hulu announced Hulu Plus, there were many fans of the service that were excited.
Originally, the price for Hulu Plus was pegged at $9.99 monthly. As competition for streaming content grew, the price for Hulu Plus was more and more out of line with other streaming offerings like Netflix. This lead Hulu to consider a price cut for the service. Rumors circulated that Hulu Plus service could get a price cut to $4.99 monthly.
Hulu Plus Coming to iPhone, Xbox 360, PS3…For a Cost
After months and months of speculation, Hulu Plus is finally upon us. The service expands upon the currently free Hulu service by including support for the iPhone, iPad, select Samsung TVs, and select Samsung Blu-ray players.
When it comes to consoles, Sony's PlayStation 3 appears to be the first on deck to receive support for Hulu Plus (the website simply says "Coming Soon"). Support for the Xbox 360 is coming early next year. Hulu Plus will also support select Sony TVs/Blu-ray players, and Vizio TV/Blu-ray players in Fall 2010.