On Apple + Hulu

July 21, 2011

Sounds like a great idea on paper, as one big thing missing from the Apple TV is Hulu. Netflix Watch Instantly lacks current TV shows which are only available as Apple rentals. I’d be willing to watch some Hulu-style ads if it saved a buck or two.

Unfortunately I’d imagine one big barrier to Apple picking up the glowing green “h” would be the content rights, which might need to be re-negotiated with a new owner. Meaning, if the studios knew they were negotiating with Apple and its cash horde, the price of all that juicy content would surely increase.

It’s already rumored that Yahoo! isn’t willing to purchase Hulu without a four / five year guarantee for those rights. Which makes sense, since the real value of Hulu is the content – what’s the point of buying the company if all the shows disappear. Surely, Apple is thinking the same thing.

Which is why I think Apple purchasing Hulu is unlikely, and same goes for purchasing Netflix. Guess I’ll have to pay a few bucks to rent MasterChef


  1. JC says:

    I agree that buying Hulu makes little sense. Getting Hulu on the Apple TV, though, sounds like a decent plan. After all, Netflix is already there. Why not do another licensing deal?

    I seem to recall back when Apple was in talks to add Twitter to iOS5, the rumor mill was suggesting that “Apple is going to buy Twitter.”

    I think someone spots an exec from one of the two companies coming out of the other’s building, and the immediate assumption runs to acquisition. For all we know, the two guys were just going out for lunch.

    • Sounds right, Apple doesn’t need to purchase Hulu to get Hulu+ added to the Apple TV. Although, iCloud was rumored to include TV shows and movies along with music… seems Apple could still be negotiating with the studios directly and therefore bypass Hulu completely.

      Another thought I saw on Google+ was this Apple rumor is being leaked by Hulu themselves, attempting to get more bidders involved.

      But I do like your lunch meeting situation… reminds me of this one.