A few weeks ago, Hulu put itself on the auction block, hoping to raise new capital to fend off Netflix, the mail-order movie company whose full-speed entry into streaming video has Hulu worried. (A report out last fall showed that Netflix customers were gobbling up almost a fifth of America’s bandwidth, much higher than numbers for Hulu.) And now yesterday, the Los Angeles Times learned that Google, as well as Microsoft and Yahoo, are considering buying the company.
Google’s bid for Hulu is particularly interesting considering its recently announced plans to spend millions commissioning original, celebrity-created content for YouTube, first reported on Vulture. But with 28 million monthly visitors, an expected $500 million in revenue this year from over 600 advertisers, and recently renewed licensing agreements with Walt Disney Co. (Grey’s Anatomy) and News Corp. (Glee), who wouldn’t want a piece of the Hulu action? Maybe soon we’ll be able to watch last night’s episode of The Colbert Report or old reruns of Arrested Development while we check our Gmail.
Google Inc. in preliminary talks to buy Hulu [Company Town/LAT]