The Los Angeles Times is reporting that search juggernaut Google has entered into preliminary talks to purchase video streaming service Hulu. Though there are no confirmed details at the moment, Hulu has also apparently approached other tech companies, such as Yahoo! and Microsoft.
For Google, this could be a major boon. Hulu not only has access to content hotly in demand by consumers, but also has managed to bring in ad dollars along with that content. Google has long said that ad money is what drives the company, and would surely be interested in expanding their ad sales operation. Furthermore, Google has sought to add more TV and movie content to YouTube, and could see a purchase of Hulu as an opportunity to do so. For Hulu’s part, the situation may be more complex. From the LA Times:
A sale would allow Hulu’s media owners to make a graceful exit from a service whose success nonetheless created friction with traditional business partners. Cable and satellite distributors complained about paying for the right to carry programs that Hulu offered free online. A transaction would also enable owner Providence Equity Partners, which put $100 million in the venture, to see returns from its its investment.
How the streaming service would survive in the hands of a new owner is anyone’s guess. We’ll certainly be keeping our eye on this one.
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