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Apple rumored to consider bid for Hulu video service

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
Apple may be looking to grow its share of the video market through an aggressive acquisition, as sources have reported that the company is considering placing a bid in an auction for the popular streaming video service Hulu.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the company is in "early talks" that could lead to an acquisition offer. That's according to two people with knowledge of an upcoming auction.

Hulu has held a high-profile since its launch, in part because it was backed by several media conglomerates in a joint venture. Owners include Walt Disney News Corp. and Comcast Corp.'s NBC Universal. It's worth pointing out that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is both a board member and the largest shareholder of Walt Disney.

The report also noted that Google, Yahoo, AT&T and others have met with bankers representing the company.

Hulu began offering its Hulu Plus subscription service on the iPhone and iPad last year. Last month, however, the company had to revise its app because of new rules from Apple that ban links to out-of-app purchases.



According to data released this spring, Apple holds just 4 percent of the digital streaming and downloadable video market in the U.S in a three-way tie with DirecTV and Time Warner for third place. Netflix takes up the lion's share of the market with 61 percent of all viewings, while Comcast placed second with 8 percent.

Within the video on demand market, which doesn't count Netflix or Hulu, Apple held a more respectable 64.5 percent share in 2010. Microsoft was second with 17.9 percent and Sony came in third with 7.2 percent.

Apple had been rumored to offer remote storage of movies and TV shows in iCloud, but the feature was not announced during the service's announcement last month.

The company's interest in Hulu may also be for its Apple TV set top box. During an earnings conference call on Tuesday, Apple said sales of the device "continue to do well," though the company still calls it a "hobby." Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook noted that his company is "continuing to invest in it because we think that there is something there."

Rumors continue to swirl that Apple is preparing to launch a connected television set, possibly as early as late 2011. If the reports of Apple's plans to enter the high-end television market are indeed true, Apple may be going after Hulu in order to guarantee that an Apple-branded TV launches with sufficient content partnerships and services to disrupt competitors and quickly gain traction.

According to one analyst, Apple could gain $100 billion in market capitalization with a connected TV, assuming that it achieve similar share as industry players such as Sony, Samsung and Philips.
post #2 of 60
Here comes Apple iStream!
post #3 of 60
deleted
post #4 of 60
this might bring us closer to the apple branded TV
post #5 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Damn. I enjoy Hulu on Ubuntu, but I can't see that continuing if it's purchased by an OS vendor.

They continue to support iTunes on PC, so it's not impossible that they'd support Hulu on Ubuntu. I think we can be sure it wouldn't be on android though
post #6 of 60
Rather it were in the hands of Apple (mac+win) than Kabletown.
post #7 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

Rather it were in the hands of Apple (mac+win) than Kabletown.

It won't be in their hands. It's up for sale anyway; moreover, it's a joint venture with other networks, including ABC, who also have a say.
post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Damn. I enjoy Hulu on Ubuntu, but I can't see that continuing if it's purchased by an OS vendor.

Microsoft yesterday just pulled out their bid to buy it.
post #9 of 60
Do it, do it, DO IT!
post #10 of 60
After the Netlix 60% price hike, this may be the only thing to keep me from ebaying my Apple TV

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

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post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

After the Netlix 60% price hike, this may be the only thing to keep me from ebaying my Apple TV

The price hike is for discs. Which the Apple TV can't play anyway. So if you were using an Apple TV for Netflix, the price would stay exactly the same.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #12 of 60
If they do this and don't bring Hulu to the UK I will sulk. Why can't we have nice things too?
post #13 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple may be looking to grow its share of the video market through an aggressive acquisition, as sources have reported that the company is considering placing a bid in an auction for the popular streaming video service Hulu. ...

This makes no sense at all.

Hulu is not even in the top three, is USA only, and generally when you buy a company like that you *don't* buy it's agreements and contracts with providers, so Apple would be in effect buying nothing but the name (and the name is not that popular or useful).

If you live in the USA and like to watch "The Office" then maybe hulu means something to you, but for the most part it's a tiny also ran company that isn't really worth much. Apple could buy Netflix at triple the going rate and not even blink, but they want to buy hulu instead?

Ridiculous.
post #14 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

After the Netlix 60% price hike, this may be the only thing to keep me from ebaying my Apple TV

Netflix didn't have a 60% price hike.

Let's keep to the facts mkay?
post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The report also noted that Google, Yahoo, AT&T and others have met with bankers representing the company.

And Apple can outbid them all if it really wants Hulu. That's the beauty of having almost $80 billion in the bank.
post #16 of 60
Hulu content is the only thing that could possibly save the Apple TV from obscurity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

The price hike is for discs. Which the Apple TV can't play anyway. So if you were using an Apple TV for Netflix, the price would stay exactly the same.

Yeah, wouldn't it be great if their sucktastic streaming content was anywhere near their DVD-by-mail selection? FWIW, ripped DVD content can be played on the Apple TV, in case you were wondering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Netflix didn't have a 60% price hike.

Let's keep to the facts mkay?

Old Unlimited Streaming + 1 DVD out at-a-time (Unlimited): $9.99 + tax

New Unlimited Streaming + 1 DVD out at-a-time (Unlimited): $15.98 + tax

Ignoring any small rounding error, that's close enough to 60% in my book.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply
post #17 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Hulu content is the only thing that could possibly save the Apple TV from obscurity.

Nope. I can easily think of at least one other.

Quote:
FWIW, ripped DVD content can be played on the Apple TV, in case you were wondering.

Wouldn't it be great if you stopped stealing video content from discs you don't own?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Wouldn't it be great if you stopped stealing video content from discs you don't own?

Wouldn't it be great if you stopped assuming people kept the rips? Once you've seen a movie, you've seen it. The difference is that the rips don't force you to watch spoonfed trailers, etc.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply
post #19 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Wouldn't it be great if you stopped assuming people kept the rips? Once you've seen a movie, you've seen it. The difference is that the rips don't force you to watch spoonfed trailers, etc.

I refuse to believe that you would waste the time it takes to rip a DVD to play on an Apple TV when you could take far less time to just put it in a DVD player and skip through the trailers. That's just beyond belief.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Nope. I can easily think of at least one other.

There is another that's for sale?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I refuse to believe that you would waste the time it takes to rip a DVD to play on an Apple TV when you could take far less time to just put it in a DVD player and skip through the trailers. That's just beyond belief.

What wasted time? Have you ever even used Handbrake? Or Airplay? It probably has never occurred to you that computers can work while you sleep. BTW I've had the same disk out now for going on two weeks. But thanks for your accusatory concern. At least you had the decency to not dispute how terrible their streaming library is...

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply
post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

generally when you buy a company like that you *don't* buy it's agreements and contracts with providers

Whoever purchases Hulu WILL be getting the agreements Hulu has signed with content providers.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-200...r-right-terms/

Quote:
Hulu's owners have reportedly been willing to offer the five years of access but only two years of exclusivity, according to Bloomberg
post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Yeah, wouldn't it be great if their sucktastic streaming content was anywhere near their DVD-by-mail selection?

Agree wholeheartedly. I just recently put my Netflix account on suspension. I was sick of the constant buffering, pixelation, SD being (seemingly) passed of HD, etc. I'll check back a couple of months from now and see if their quality has improved. If it hasn't, I'll kiss them goodbye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Old Unlimited Streaming + 1 DVD out at-a-time (Unlimited): $9.99 + tax

New Unlimited Streaming + 1 DVD out at-a-time (Unlimited): $15.98 + tax

Ignoring any small rounding error, that's close enough to 60% in my book.

You were also correct in saying "60%".
post #23 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

And Apple can outbid them all if it really wants Hulu. That's the beauty of having almost $80 billion in the bank.

The real beauty is that they would want it to get it off the market. Taking away a choice that would prevent the networks from playing ball with Apple. They wouldn't be able to 'stick with hulu for now', cause there would be no hulu

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #24 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Wouldn't it be great if you stopped assuming people kept the rips? Once you've seen a movie, you've seen it. The difference is that the rips don't force you to watch spoonfed trailers, etc.

VLC will also skip all the crud without needing to bother ripping.
post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

The real beauty is that they would want it to get it off the market. Taking away a choice that would prevent the networks from playing ball with Apple. They wouldn't be able to 'stick with hulu for now', cause there would be no hulu

This is a great point.
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Agree wholeheartedly. I just recently put my Netflix account on suspension. I was sick of the constant buffering, pixelation, SD being (seemingly) passed of HD, etc. I'll check back a couple of months from now and see if their quality has improved. If it hasn't, I'll kiss them goodbye.



You were also correct in saying "60%".

Just have to say in NetFlix's defense that at home I have never seen it buffer other than a second or two at the start and most is in HD with no pixelation, even SD is pretty good. I am on an uprated 30/30 FiOS and using AE. However, when I tried the same set up while on vacation I saw what you do, that was using Time Warner Road Runner.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This makes no sense at all.

Hulu is not even in the top three, is USA only, and generally when you buy a company like that you *don't* buy it's agreements and contracts with providers, so Apple would be in effect buying nothing but the name (and the name is not that popular or useful).

If you live in the USA and like to watch "The Office" then maybe hulu means something to you, but for the most part it's a tiny also ran company that isn't really worth much. Apple could buy Netflix at triple the going rate and not even blink, but they want to buy hulu instead?

Ridiculous.

I think the agreements in place would continue, else there is no point.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #28 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Just have to say in NetFlix's defense that at home I have never seen it buffer other than a second or two at the start and most is in HD with no pixelation, even SD is pretty good. I am on an uprated 30/30 FiOS and using AE. However, when I tried the same set up while on vacation I saw what you do, that was using Time Warner Road Runner.

I don't have FiOS, unfortunately. But my (cable) download speeds are pretty decent, much higher than the national average. And, I use an ethernet connection, not wifi, so that I get better download speeds.

I think that it's a pipe width problem at their end.
post #29 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

Rather it were in the hands of Apple (mac+win) than Kabletown.

Kabletown.....how many on here get that reference?
post #30 of 60
Not sure how this article fails to mention Crackle...
post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Just have to say in NetFlix's defense that at home I have never seen it buffer other than a second or two at the start and most is in HD with no pixelation, even SD is pretty good. I am on an uprated 30/30 FiOS and using AE. However, when I tried the same set up while on vacation I saw what you do, that was using Time Warner Road Runner.

wow, you must live in net fix's upstairs apartment!!

netflix streaming laaaaaaags soooooo bad on my 35 mbit smoking cable internet. nothing else does...
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicFingers View Post

wow, you must live in net fix's upstairs apartment!!

netflix streaming laaaaaaags soooooo bad on my 35 mbit smoking cable internet. nothing else does...

Never had any real issues with Netflix - we love it in our household and ditched cable long ago.
post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Kabletown.....how many on here get that reference?

Or is it really Cabaltown?
post #34 of 60
No way Apple will be buying Hulu (and especially not for $2B.)
What possible sense would it make? Apple could offer a similar service with little effort or money.
Why pay so much for something you can do better and far cheaper and build from the ground up they way you want it?
post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Wouldn't it be great if you stopped stealing video content from discs you don't own?

I know for myself that I ripped my collection of DVD's so they would be available on demand for me and I would not have to find the DVD to play it. Not all ripped movies are stolen.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

No way Apple will be buying Hulu (and especially not for $2B.)
What possible sense would it make? Apple could offer a similar service with little effort or money.
Why pay so much for something you can do better and far cheaper and build from the ground up they way you want it?

For the service agreements alone perhaps?
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
Reply
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

For the service agreements alone perhaps?

Perhaps, but $2 Billion for that?
Apple can easily negotiate any service agreements they desire on their own. They don''t seem to have had any difficulty doing it so far.

Definitely doesn't sound like Apple. They never pay dear for what they can make for themselves.
post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

VLC will also skip all the crud without needing to bother ripping.

IDK, would VLC allow me to easily format shift to watch the movie on my iPad or iPhone or iPod Touch?

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply
post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

I know for myself that I ripped my collection of DVD's so they would be available on demand for me and I would not have to find the DVD to play it. Not all ripped movies are stolen.

I ripped DVDs myself but he talked about rented DVDs and he got a point. I wouldn't rip something I didn't intend to keep.
post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

I ripped DVDs myself but he talked about rented DVDs and he got a point. I wouldn't rip something I didn't intend to keep.

No, he doesn't have a point. He made a blatant blanket accusation which, in this case, is patently untrue. Unless he's against format shifting content, in which case he should probably ditch any application that's Airplay enabled.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply
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