Web TV Wars
Depending on where you read the coverage of Hulu’s revenue numbers, the picture of the company looks very different. Read Write Web declares that the company turned in a “pretty big year,” growing 60 percent and “raking” in $420 million in revenue. But as Peter Kafka points out at All Things D, that falls short of the $500 million Hulu CEO Jason Kilar predicted the company would make in several blog posts.
Mr. Kafka attributes the miss to rumors of soft ad sales which have been percolating for a while. Hulu also was on the chopping block for a while, then off again, then back on. And several of its partners, most notably Fox, either took away next day rights for programming or discussed the idea. All that volatility is sure to make it tough for Hulu to sell ads.
The ongoing Hulu saga reminds Betabeat of some kind of Greek myth. Created as the bastard scion of the old TV networks, Hulu is a popular and perhaps soon-to-be profitable service. Yet increasingly it is at war with its parents, who have been kneecapping the upstart to preserve their own power.
The new last week that a sale of Hulu is being considered brought focus on an important detail: Without the networks feeding it exclusive content, Hulu is much less appealing to both consumers and potential acquirers. So Peter Kafka’s report today that the service has locked in its exclusive content deals with Disney and Fox is heartening for Hulu fans.
The last time we heard from Hulu CEO Jason Kilar he was feeling feisty, firing off a Jerry McGuire style blog post that basically asked the networks who created Hulu to stop kneecapping the site and let them get on with the business of reinventing TV.
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar was feeling triumphant last night, having just won the right to start airing top properties like The Daily Show and Colbert Report again.
In a lengthy blog post, Kilar laid out the future of web TV as Hulu sees it, and didn’t mince words when describing the traditional Read More