Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

Summary: It's no secret that Hulu is on the block, but exactly who is looking to buy the online TV service has led to intense speculation. One day Microsoft is the hot candidate; the next day, it's Yahoo.

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It's no secret that Hulu is on the block, but exactly who is looking to buy the online TV service has led to intense speculation. One day Microsoft is the hot candidate; the next day, it's Yahoo. Now the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Google is the latest tech giant making overtures to the conglomerate.

There's a pretty obvious reason the search company would be sniffing around Hulu: YouTube. Its video service is insanely popular, but that hasn't endeared it to content companies over the years. Google has had a hard time making money from all the videos it streams, while Hulu is due to make $500 million this year from ads shown during its programming.

Hulu, which includes Disney-ABC, Fox, and NBCUniversal as partners in the venture, decided against going through with an IPO that could have valued the company at $2 billion. Instead, it hired investment banks and extended content deals with Disney and Fox to make itself more attractive to potential buyers.

While Google could use Hulu to bolster YouTube, Microsoft could use it to make its rumored plans for a streaming TV service via its Xbox Live offering more potentially profitable. Yahoo could use it to fit into whatever strategy it's developed for this week, though VentureBeat points out that Hulu CEO Jason Kilar could be in the running to replace current Yahoo chief Carol Bartz.

Which tech company do you think would make the best fit with Hulu? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Mobility, Google, Hardware

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20 comments
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  • Again, no sane regulation authority, especially in EU, should allow that

    Since the moment when Google bought YouTube the company is already over-presented in the Internet; it is already huge in the video segment.
    DDERSSS
    • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

      @DeRSSS
      It would be interesting if Apple also comes to party. They also don't have a presence in this area and this brings good value to iTunes and iCloud.
      Ram U
      • Regulators might not allow Apple buy Hulu, too, since the company already

        @Rama.NET: ... has massive iTunes video sales service.<br><br>Regulators would allow Apple to buy different kind of video service -- say, Vimeo, since it is relatively (to YouTube) smaller service and it will actually make the situation more competitive and thus advantageous to common users than it is now.<br><br>However, Steven Jobs is not known having any wishes for any pricey company purchases, ever (yet maybe he accumulates money for some outstanding $100 billion purchase of a cable company or something else). He would either order to create Apple's own Vimeo/YouTube type of service to run on iCould data centre, or just ignore it as he did all of these years.
        DDERSSS
  • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

    Microsoft should be more interested in Hulu. Google already have YouTube; Microsoft doesn't really have a video service.
    illegaloperation
    • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

      @day2die Hulu and YouTube are in different segments though... Hulu is TV, YouTube is user generated content. I could see the two coming together though if Google were to acquire Hulu.
      snoop0x7b
  • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

    Google buying Hulu would be the death knell of the site. Look no further than YouTube for the evidence. YouTube is a mess, over run by nonsensical crap, and not to mention, I shouldn't need to watch ads to see a friends home video. Thank God for AdBlock Plus (Hear that Google? I block your ads!). No wonder content providers aren't interested in it. If Google gets the go ahead to buy it, then I will not be interested in using it anymore. I DEPLORE Internet advertising, and Google has a bad habit of over running their sites and services with SPAMvertising. It's simply not advertising anymore, it's in your face, and very annoying. <br><br>I for one hope Microsoft gets the go ahead. It's about time they get back into the game. Hulu would make a fine addition to XBox related services.

    This Internet advertising tech bubble needs to disappear, and fast. The users aren't going to be winning anything here. Nothing innovative will come from it, and all it's doing is intruding on user's privacy.

    Here's a good read, I think I found on Ed Bott's Twitter. It describes perfectly how I feel about being tracked and having ads constantly thrown at me.
    businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_17/b4225060960537.htm
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Does Facebook run advertisement on the pages with videos?

      @Cylon Centurion
      DDERSSS
    • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

      @Cylon Centurion

      Rabid Google hate is no more logical than rabid Microsoft hate. Does Hulu not make money through advertising? Are Google's services not free? Do they not need to make money one way or another?

      Advertising is how you pay for a 'free' service. If you don't like Internet ads, be prepared to start paying for the Internet services you currently use.
      intman
      • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

        @intman

        I already pay out the wazzoo for cable, yet, I'm bombarded with ads every 10 minutes. Paying has nothing to do with it.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

        @Cylon Centurion

        Your cable bill goes to your cable company, little, if anything at all goes to the TV networks they carry (with the exception of HBO and other premium channels). Advertising is how the networks actually make their money. You're paying for the copper, plus whatever it's worth to Comcast to pay to organize these channels for you.
        snoop0x7b
      • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

        @intman I already pay for HuluPlus and I still get the frigging ads. So who is making money from both advertisers AND subscribers.
        Anaconda_469
    • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

      @Cylon Centurion

      You are wierd for real!!

      I prefer the crap and annoyance you wrote about, while I don't have pay extra, appart from what I pay to my ISP, than pay a lot to Cable/Satellite service and still get ads.
      TiredOFLies
    • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

      @Cylon Centurion

      I find YouTube quite useful. As do the millions who visit every day. Who cares if you see an ad before your video? They're sometimes ads for something useful, usually not, but sometimes are. You don't get anything for free.
      snoop0x7b
  • Message has been deleted.

    Official_NFL_Jerseys
  • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

    What I could never understand about Hulu is why, after charging $10 a month, I still have to watch all of the annoying 4 ads they have to show me that day.

    To say Microsoft has nothing for video is to leave out XBL and Zune Market. There may not be as much there but there's definitely a presence. And an experience I prefer to iTunes.
    Snowsong
  • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

    Either the owners have short memories, or you do - they set up Hulu specifically because they were unable to reach a deal with Google; and as money wasn't the issue, control probably was. What has changed? Nothing. These guys want to control their output, and Google doesn't play games with outsiders pulling the strings. M$ has a long history of part-ownership; and a poor video offering. They have to be a much more likely contender. But hey, I could be wrong ;o)
    Heenan73
    • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

      @Heenan73 Well at this point the Venture Capitalists (I forget which firm), Comcast, Disney, and Fox own Hulu... The people who started Hulu sold the remainder of their stake (or atleast enough of it to be irrelevant).
      snoop0x7b
      • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

        @snoop0x7b

        It was never the original creators of hulu who had the problem, it was the content providers.
        Even with the huge increase in revenue this could provide, the content providers would want to continue their stranglehold on this content to the point it would be unacceptable to users.
        tmsbrdrs
  • RE: Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

    Like I said earlier. I pay for Hulu and I still get the frigging ads. I am about to leave them for this very reason. And if Gooogle gets involved in any way with Hulu I will cancel my subscription immediately. Nothing like hating Google.
    Anaconda_469
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