Rumors of Google buying Hulu cause Internet-wide cheer


7 Apr 2011
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Google needs Hulu. I don’t just mean that it would be nice if users could access Hulu on Google devices, I mean that Google really needs to add Hulu support to their services. Android lags severely behind the iPhone in this respect, not to mention Google TV. On the other hand, Hulu doesn’t really need Google, not in the same sense, anyway. So, when an unnamed source cropped up with a story about Google buying Hulu on the LA Times’ website, I threw my party hat on. Then I realized that the party was already happening–the social networks of the Internet cheered at the possibility.


Hulu already fits the “mostly free” strategy that Google has favored to much in all of their services, and as a standalone service Hulu has been a massive floating point for cablecutters around the US. Having seen the enormous response they got when Netflix finally began to support Android, plus supporting their younger projects like Google TV and Google +, Hulu would be more than an asset. Google+ Hangouts where you could watch TV and Movies? Merging Google’s Movie rental service with an already impressive lineup of movies and TV shows? Being able to experience both on your Logitech Revue powered TV? Be still, my quivering nerdkin.

Analysts are placing their bets, putting down numbers like 2 billion dollars, which is what the company was loosely valued at by investment bankers. That’s no small amount, and even after that Google will be on the hook to maintain the contracts Hulu already has for existing shows in order to maintain a captive audience. As we’ve recently seen with Netflix dealings, the cost for renewing those contracts could skyrocket, especially when the site is no longer being coddled by Disney and Newscorp. Buying the company would barely be half the battle.

Google isn’t the only company engaged in courtship rituals with Hulu, either. Microsoft, who has already seen the benefit of offering Netflix on their Windows Phones and Hulu Plus through their Xbox 360 consoles, is sure to be on the list of companies courting Hulu. Additionally, Yahoo! has expressed an interest in adding more premium content through their web services. All three of these companies would benefit enormously from a partnership or purchasing Hulu from Newscorp.

Where does this get exciting? Obviously Google would be able to do a better job serving ads then the abysmal Hulu Ad Tailor service, but attached to a Google TV could we start to see interactive ad experiences like we’ve seen on TiVo? Would we see Hulu blending with YouTube’s own TV show service, or even their live streaming capabilities? Obviously in this case the sky is the limit, and there’s so little known about the situation as it stands right now, but I for one would love to see this not turn out like Groupon.

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