Netflix’s share price almost hit a giddy $26o on Friday as it became clear that Hulu was not going to be acquired by DirectTV or Time Warner. The company’s market cap is now nearing $15 billion, driven by what is widely regarded as a deeply irrational investor mania. But is Wall Street’s infatuation sheer lunacy? At the moment, Netflix is miles ahead of the other streaming video rivals when it comes to creating original content. Its latest show, “Orange is the New Black,” may be a quirky niche item, but it has topped 80% on Metacritic and is garnering some rave reviews from influential media mavens. Netflix is putting together a roster of ambitious high-profile shows that appeal to very distinct demographic niches. “Orange” is designed to basically grab the “Weeds” demo of 30 to 50-year-old professional women, “House of Cards’ ” audience’s average household income likely tops $100,000, and the upcoming Dreamworks animations are going to be catnip for families with kids under 8 years old. More →
Hulu announced on Friday that 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company will maintain ownership of the company. The video streaming service was considering a sale and had received bids from DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Yahoo, among others. The firm’s three owners now plan to double down on Hulu and collectively invest an additional $750 million in an effort to “propel future growth.” Hulu provides content from more than 400 partners to over 30 million monthly visitors. The company also offers a premium subscription service, known as Hulu Plus, that currently counts more than four million subscribers, but it continues to struggle against competing services offered by Netflix and Amazon. Hulu’s press release follows below. More →
Netflix on Monday announced a blockbuster deal that will bring no less than 300 hours of original content from DreamWorks to its streaming video service. That means Netflix will have the rights to premier new series with characters from franchises that might include Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and Casper the Friendly Ghost. A deal of this magnitude with a leading animation house could be extremely expensive and no details about actual programming have been divulged at this point. That’s why it’s fascinating that Netflix’s share price soared by as much as 8% on Monday. More →
A Hulu sale is imminent and DirecTV is the likely victor, according to multiple unnamed sources speaking to Pando Daily. This would be possibly the best case scenario for a strong Hulu move towards original content creation. DirecTV is a behemoth with 20 million subscribers and annual revenue of roughly $20 billion. It could easily afford to launch an aggressive slate of Netflix-type original programming, even if hiring marquee names would push the cost of a limited series to $100 million a pop. More →
The latest NPD numbers show Hulu growing at a surprisingly robust pace. Its share of U.S. shows streamed in Q1 2013 jumped to 10% from 7% in the same period one year earlier. Netflix still stands in majestic solitude with an 89% share, but its dominance is not preventing Hulu from gradually gaining ground. New reports suggest that no fewer than seven possible buyers are circling Hulu. The most interesting scenario for American consumers would be an acquisition that would lead to a deep-pocketed buyer investing heavily in exclusive Hulu content in coming years — over the past couple of months, Netflix has demonstrated that new content from streaming video providers could have a seismic impact on the U.S. media business. More →
Hulu couldn’t find any serious suitors for an acquisition last time it was on the block, but 2013 is a completely different story. Yahoo, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV are each among the companies offering serious cash for the movie and TV show streaming service, and a new report suggests AT&T may soon enter the fray with a joint bid. AllThingsD reports that AT&T and The Chernin Group are in talks to make a play for Hulu, though the amount the pair might offer is not currently known. The Chernin Group had previously bid $500 million for Hulu this past April, however a series of more recent bids have reportedly reached as high as $1 billion.
The bidding for popular video streaming site Hulu just got a lot more intense. Reuters reports that three companies have each bid in excess of $1 billion to buy Hulu, including satellite TV provider DirecTV. All three bids easily dwarf the $600 million to $800 million that Yahoo was reportedly offering for the company and significantly increase the odds that News Corp and Disney will be able to successfully sell the company in the coming months after failing to find a buyer two years ago. In addition to Yahoo and DirecTV, Time Warner Cable has also made a bid for Hulu, although that bid is reportedly for an equity stake and not outright ownership of the company.
So how much will it take for Yahoo to buy itself a stake in Hulu? According to a new report from AllThingsD, at least $600 million. Citing “numerous sources close to the situation,” AllThingsD reports that Yahoo is bidding between $600 million and $800 million for Hulu, a range that reflects the fact that Yahoo “has proposed several different prices based on a variety of circumstances” including “the length of the licensing rights for content and how much control the programming companies selling Hulu have over their media.” More →
Yahoo is apparently determined to show that it can do more than pay $1.1 billion for a bunch of teenage girls’ blogs. Unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that Yahoo has submitted an offer to buy video streaming website Hulu, a sign that the company is still considering ways to counter the enormous video streaming clout that Google now holds with YouTube. Yahoo was interested in buying a majority stake in French video streaming website Dailymotion earlier this year but that deal fell apart after the French government reportedly threatened to block it. In making an official bid for Hulu, Yahoo will be competing with Time Warner Cable, which is considering buying a 33% equity stake in the company. It’s unknown at this point whether Yahoo’s bid for Hulu will just be for a similar shared stake or if it plans to be more aggressive and buy a majority stake in the firm.
We may now have a clue about how Time Warner Cable plans to implement its own Aereo-like service. Unnamed sources have told Bloomberg that Time Warner Cable is considering buying an equity stake in Hulu and “could offer Hulu to its customers as a bundled service inside and outside of the home with its current products,” meaning customers could access their favorite shows on Hulu without paying a monthly subscription fee for Hulu Plus. Under the plan being discussed, Time Warner Cable would take a 33% stake in Hulu with the rest held by co-owners Disney, Comcast and News Corp. Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt recently said that the cable industry’s “structure needs more flexibility” and that he wants to offer customers “smaller, more affordable packages” that don’t cost them upward of $100 a month.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is reportedly looking to step up the competition with her former employer. According to AllThingsD, Mayer has held preliminary talks with Hulu executives to discuss a potential bid for the video-streaming service. The move to acquire Hulu, which offers movies, TV episodes, trailers, clips and behind-the-scenes footage from NBC, Fox, ABC, TBS and other networks, would put Yahoo in further competition with Google as it prepares to take on traditional television with its YouTube service. More →
A new report suggests that online movie and TV streaming service Hulu may be looking to sell. According to Reuters, Hulu, which is a joint venture between ABC and Fox, has hired financial services firm Guggenheim Partners to advise the company on a potential sale. Hulu had previously hired the firm in 2011, however it was unable to find a buyer that was willing to pay the $2 billion asking price. In addition to advising the company, Guggenheim Partners is said to be interested in making a bid for Hulu, which may pose a conflict of interest. The firm created a separate Guggenheim Digital Media unit in January that is headed by former Yahoo CEO and News Corp executive Ross Levinsohn, who is reportedly interested in a deal with the company. In 2012, Hulu generated revenues of around $700 million from more than 3 million premium subscribers.
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar announced plans to resign his post at the company some time in the first quarter of 2013 on Hulu’s official blog on Friday. In his official resignation letter, Kilar said he was working with the company’s board “to ensure there is ample runway to manage this transition” and that current Hulu CTO Rich Tom would be stepping down with him. Kilar didn’t give a specific reason for his departure but said that his “decision to depart has been one of the toughest I’ve ever made” and that he was “thankful” for his time running the company. Kilar’s resignation comes less than a month after the company announced it had passed 3 million paid subscribers for its Hulu Plus service.