Apple rumored to consider bid for Hulu video service

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    irontedironted Posts: 129member
    Here comes Apple iStream!
  • Reply 2 of 59
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 3 of 59
    pit5000pit5000 Posts: 19member
    this might bring us closer to the apple branded TV
  • Reply 4 of 59
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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
  • Reply 5 of 59
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 613member
    Rather it were in the hands of Apple (mac+win) than Kabletown.
  • Reply 6 of 59
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,223member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 59
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,282member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 59
    Do it, do it, DO IT!
  • Reply 9 of 59
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    After the Netlix 60% price hike, this may be the only thing to keep me from ebaying my Apple TV
  • Reply 10 of 59
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 59
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    If they do this and don't bring Hulu to the UK I will sulk. Why can't we have nice things too?
  • Reply 12 of 59
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 59
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    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?
  • Reply 14 of 59
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 59
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 59
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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?
  • Reply 17 of 59
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 59
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 59
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    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...
  • Reply 20 of 59
    addicted44addicted44 Posts: 822member
    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



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