Is Apple planning to buy Hulu? According to a source familiar with the matter, it appears that this rumor might have some seeds of truth. The source remains anonymous, for understandable reasons: he/ she is not authorized to discuss such matters at the moment, Associated Press reports.
A source that asks to remain anonymous tells Associated Press that the video content provider Hulu has gained the interest of the top IT company: Apple. The forbidden fruit is looking for new business “fertilizers”. If bought by Apple, Hulu could boost its video-streaming market, entering a fair and harsh competition with Netflix, which just raised its prices 60% to the services it provides.
Like other streaming services, Hulu makes profit out of subscriber passes, on the one hand, and out of the advertising space it sells to companies, on the other hand. It has almost 600 contracts with companies that , summed up wth the money collected from Hulu Plus passes, it will bring an estimated income of 500 million dollars this year. In the first four months of 2011, Hulu had 50% more advertising agents than the same period last year.
At present, Hulu is owned by a joint venture between mass media giants: the Walt Disney Company, NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment Group (News Corp.) and Providence Equity Partners. In the beginning of June, it was reported that Hulu was meeting with several IT giants in order to sell. The potential buyers included Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Of them, Google seemed the favorite buyer. At the time, no representatives of the companies were reached for comment on the matter. Elisa Schreiber, the spokesman for Hulu was contacted and asked about the speculations regarding the transaction, but she declined to comment.
Founded in 2008, Hulu streams across the United States and its overseas territories. Until 2009, it provided video content from a series of channels, such as NBC, ABC, FOX, MSNBC, CNBC, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and National Geographic. As of November 2009, Hulu also distributes music, after signing with EMI and Warner Music Group.