How Hulu Bid Could Lead Apple, Google, or Yahoo to Dominance – International Business Times
July 23, 2011 3:02 PM EDT
Each tech giant has their case for obtaining Hulu in leading its company toward dominance on the web. Apple seeks interest in possibly jumpstarting their Apple TV services. Google may have a similar case along with solidifying its social networking features on Google+. For Yahoo, the former premiere search engine website seeks a comeback in both traffic and revenue with Hulu as their missing piece of the puzzle.
Hulu shines as a highly attractive online property by proving its value with over 1 billion ad impressions a month, according to Comscore, and impressive offerings of video content. The latest auction for Hulu has left many pondering on the potential combination of services that may birth from current bidders in Apple, Google, and Yahoo.
Google+ has been rising in popularity with their innovative approaches to content sharing and video chat. The addition of Hulu could concrete Google’s spot as the top online video website as a new flood of content may do wonders for visitors and advertising revenue. The search giant already owns YouTube, which rakes in nearly 150 million unique visitors a month, and will seek ways to integrate video watching within Google+. The Hangout feature in Google+ may open the door to online video watching with multiple friends at once. The platform makes watching video content and commenting on them through mobile devices easy and social. Content from Hulu combined with Youtube’s offerings can lure potential users to join Google’s growing social network.
Apple’s case for a potential bid for Hulu comes in the form of Apple TV and content for their upcoming lineup of mobile devices. Financially, Apple may hold the advantage in terms of having over $76 billion in cash on hand for a purchase. If Apple were to follow its current business model of renting out shows rather than making revenue on ads, then the Hulu acquisition can potentially transform into another Netflix service. Apple would then hold great advantages in terms of reach, marketing, and content distribution through iTunes. As GigaOm pointed out, the deal would definitely provide Apple with additional video content to offer through iTunes and increasing the company’s content value.
In terms of distribution, Hulu’s high definition, HD, quality content can be a valuable asset as Apple’s new platform of HD capable iPhones and iPads plan to hit the market possibly later this year. The iPhone 5 and iPad 3 are rumored to have HD display screens that can play 720p and 1080p videos. With Hulu already reaching out to media devices through it s Hulu Plus subscriptions, the millions of Apple mobile devices will only increase the content reach.
Of all the players involved with the current bid, Yahoo may appear to be the front runner as it has much to lose without Hulu. Yahoo would love to see more traffic and utilize its strength in media and content. .
In an interview with Adage, EVP of ‘Americas’ at Yahoo Ross Levinsohn spoke about Yahoo’s desired future plan, “to be the premier digital media company. We’re No. 1 or 2 in 19 categories. That’s insane! That doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. You embrace that. You support that. We’re focused on premium content. Some of its original, some of it’s curated, some of it’s aggregated. And we’re focused on premium advertising,” said Levinsohn.
The Hulu acquisition would bolster the media aspect in Yahoo’s offerings as well as increasing their online advertisement revenue. Without Hulu, Yahoo may have less footing in their continuous role in playing catch-up with premiere rivals in YouTube or Apple.
Recent news ruled Microsoft out of the bidding for Hulu saying that the company would not continue with future offers in the second round. With Microsoft out, the remaining three big players will duke it out for ownership of a highly prized online commodity. According to reports, Yahoo would be willing to pay $2 billion in a deal that includes an exclusive package for TV shows and movies. Based on that, the LA Times suggested that Yahoo may be in the lead spot among other bidders.