[opendtv] Why No One Wants to Own Hulu

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:56:39 -0400


July 15, 2013, 6:28 a.m. EDT

Why No One Wants to Own Hulu

By 24/7 Wall St.

Hulu will not be sold. The online video website was put on the market by its 
owners, 21st-Century Fox, NBCUniversal and Walt Disney Co. Rumors claim there 
were buyers. Not likely. Or likely not at the price that the owners wanted to 
fetch. Instead, these owners will keep Hulu and desperately try to save it with 
an investment of $750 million. However, Hulu is too small and insignificant to 
survive, at least profitably.

Hulu remains behind a number of competitors its vies with either directly or 
indirectly. It could be claimed that direct competition includes Netflix Inc. 
and Apple Inc.'s Apple TV. Add to that Amazon.com Inc., the largest cable 
companies in the United States, satellite TV operations, several studios that 
may not want Hulu to be their conduit to consumers, telecoms that have built 
out fiber to the home and Google Inc.'s YouTube, which has made a push into the 
premium video market. All of these compete for content, and several are willing 
to pay large sums in an attempt to corner the market on the movies and 
television shows most popular with consumers.

One yardstick for measuring Hulu's challenge is the comScore rating of monthly 
viewership of online video properties. This measurement does not capture the 
audiences of cable or Netflix. According to the May report, online video is 
completely dominated by YouTube. Of the 182 million unique views who visited 
Internet sites, 155 million visited YouTube. Minutes per viewer for YouTube 
were 437. By contrast, minutes per viewer for the next several largest sites 
where around 70 per month - less time than required to watch a full-length 
movie. In terms of unique views, Hulu does not even make the top 10.

The largest sites in terms of viewership after YouTube were those of Internet 
portals and entertainment company sites. These include Yahoo! Inc. and AOL 
Inc., each of which wants to build large libraries of video because video ads 
carry a large premium compared to others, like display ads, that run on the 
Internet. These will compete, if they do not already, for the content that Hulu 
needs to hold an audience. Also on the list of huge sites based on video 
viewership are Disney and 21st Century Fox rivals Viacom Inc. and Turner 
Digital. Each of these has to have at least some concern about Hulu's success 
as it tries to build its own presence on the Web.

The competition to Hulu is nothing less than overwhelming, and much greater 
than many analysts grant. 

You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts:

  • » [opendtv] Why No One Wants to Own Hulu - Craig Birkmaier