There is no reason why TV networks need to exist the way they do. Hulu, Netflix and Amazon all produce original content and are perfectly positioned to disrupt them as their distribution volume increases. Even the current distribution channel is being disrupted by Aereo. Hulu is a a huge asset.
If Yahoo gets in this game, they have a massive number of users, photos (flickr), blogposts (tumblr), mail, content... they're rivaling the reach and diversity of Amazon and Google as content owners (though without their respective cash cows of b2c sales and ads).
What's next? Is there some sort of connection that I'm missing between flickr, tumblr, the existing yahoo platform and hulu? Do they buy vimeo from IAC, or buy/merge with IAC? What's the strategy behind all the acquisitions?
Yahoo really wants a video service. I guess they want to come back to having a modern set of active services.
Yahoo had previously tried to buy a large stake in French video site DailyMotion, but that bid was stymied by the French government.
Governments screw everything up
That's none of their damn business.
I think yahoo finally got their shit together. Yahoo! has always been a surprisingly healthy company from a strict financial standpoint. They are a strong stock that a lot of blue-collar investors have loved; consistent, slightly innovative (enough to meet projections, but not too crazy that might have resulted in major losses [even though they have stumbled]) and they offer the basic pillars of a healthy tech company i.e. mail, search, content etc.
Yahoo has a nice amount of cash, and they are finally using it in a beneficial way, which is funny because it took someone from Google to realize that (remember yahoo trying to position itself as a "media" company).
I think the strategy is to do what you described above; be able to compete with the likes of Google and Amazon. They have mail, content, a social network (Tumblr and Flickr), healthy advertising etc and if they can pull off Hulu they would be able to have an end-to-end solution for users. I don't think they would buy Vimeo, from my perspective I couldn't see why that would be beneficial and IAC would probably want a hefty price for it.
If I was going long on a tech stock (say 36-60 months) I would put my money on Yahoo. I think Marissa Mayer is finally getting it right.
Other than content, arent those second rate internet properties though? Maybe thats their plan in order not to compete with google/amazon.
(i know flickr is used by professionals, but instagram probably has more users)
Uhh, as a Hulu subscriber, I'll just let you know: If I only had "Hulu" content to pick from, I'd cancel my subscription immediately. It's not great stuff, barely worth paying for and CERTAINLY not worth both paying for and sitting through the same 4 advertisements over-and-over-and-over again for.
Basically, I don't care who owns Hulu, but if Hulu isn't getting next-day network television + back catalogs, then I'm not going to subscribe. That's what I want it for, and I imagine I'm not the only one.
The point isn't that they're buying Hulu for its original programming. It's that if they want to become a major player in the original content space, they'll need a huge user base to start with. For that, they need licensed content.
In other words, my thesis is that TV networks can be disrupted by someone else making original content and distributing it over the web, but the disruptor will need a big number of users to make this possible. It's much easier to get that big user base with licensed content.
Whether it makes sense for Yahoo to be in the studio and production business is another question!
Note that there were rumors that Google already made an overture to buy Hulu at a price rumored to be 2x the current price but with much longer licensing terms and were turned down.
Unless Yahoo wants to focus more on original programming for Hulu (a strategy I'm behind) then buying it for its current content rights is a fools bet.
What is it I don't understand about the online video business that causes this to happen? They can't get enough advertisements from their partners to allow them to be less repetitive? Advertisers don't want to provide variety? (Maybe advertisers specifically want the monotony? Surely not, else they'd follow the same scheme on network TV.) The endless repetition sucks to watch and it makes the whole thing seem amateurish.
Both Hulu and Tumblr have proved that ads can work in their product, but haven't really brought them to any meaningful scale. Maybe that's what attracts Yahoo to them?
if i remember watching tv at my parrents, the regular tv networks do the same thing right? my best guess is that they did some psychological studies and such repetition is necessary to program your brain with "WANT ARBY'S SANDWICH"
I'm scared to even mention the commercial though, in fear that I will go home and be subjected to another 20-30 plays of it :(
Here you have scored this exclusive deal with this impossible international crossover genius comedic rapper, and you sell a pretty delicious product, and all you can think of is a 1950s-style cutesy celebrity endorsement format. Ending with a very pre-Don-Draper, wink-and-a-fake-smile, generic-celebrity-worshipping closer "If Psy does it, we all go nuts."
I really liked Gangnam Style the first 30 times, and I enjoy Wonderful's pistachios, but this was perhaps the most unimaginative intersection of the two possible.
It doesn't seem like this would go away though. Each of the big streamers are building a specific base set of streamable content.
Amazon is focused on newer films more so than Netflix and Hulu.
Hulu is focused on new television content, with some original programming from overseas shows mostly.
Netflix is focused on older television and movie content, with stronger original programming.
HBO Go will be new movies and strong original content.
Right now there is certainly room for all of these services... I think in the future its highly likely we'll see other channels make a stronger stream crossover (like Comedy Central, Food Network, ESPN, etc..) and we'll basically have content streaming channels. In that world, Netflix, Amazon and HBO GO are still strong, but Hulu might start loosing content or have stronger competition, and that could be problematic.
It is clear that she understands that Yahoo is a New Media company. They serve assets to many eyeballs and monetize those assets.
It seems that in her case, their main goal is grab up as much quality inventory as she can, and monetize the hell out of it.
As their media inventory gets bigger, economies of scale start to kick in. Nike may not want to just advertise on Yahoo & Flickr, but they would be damned if they turn away the potential to reach audiences in Yahoo, Flickr, Tumblr, and now possibly Hulu. Plus I imagine that the more inventory they hold, is the more they can package that inventory to increase the unit price for all properties.
Holy crap....this is brilliant and yet so obvious. Why have other CEOs not grasped this and executed on it the way Mayer is.
I think this is the one of the few cases, in Corporate America, where going on an M&A spree makes the most sense.
Another thing is the more properties she buys, and the better deals she does is the easier it is to buy other deals. Startups loved being bought by Google because YouTube was bought by Google. The same thing is starting to happen. Yahoo! bought Tumblr, so other companies are going to feel comfortable being bought by Yahoo! and that will create more deal flow, resulting in more deals.
Hrmmm...I wonder how much cash Yahoo has on their balance sheet - either way, I am sure they can raise a ton of money to do more deals.
I'm not sure that buying Hulu is such a slam-dunk, anyway. They are entirely at the mercy of the TV networks- if they pull content, Hulu is worth very, very little. People use Hulu largely because they have to.
Marissa's CEO tenure is to be determined as are all these deals that she's making.
I think Hulu is a decent move for Yahoo, but the proof is in the pudding and it's all just media hype at the moment. Additionally, like you said, Hulu is run by the content companies - if they pull their content, it's worth zero. Content deals are very difficult and tricky to achieve, especially for Yahoo being non-factor in the content game (vs. companies like Apple and Amazon that have deep content deal making skills).
This could be a potentially idiotic move.
I was in London, and I don't know much about how this played out in Sunnyvale, but apart from some occasional attempts at convincing people otherwise (like the acquisition of WhereOnEarth that was widely "advertised" across the company) on our end at least "everyone" apart from some pockets of engineering appeared to understand very clearly that Yahoo was a media company where growing pageviews to monetize them with ads was the core of the company.
Taken together the two most recent poaches (i.q. provided Hulu) have much crossover especially while accounting for further past acquisitions. Amalgamating successfully will position them as key content provider in the market.
Isn't it safe to assume that anyone that is buying Hulu would know that the content is what is most important?
I assume that to be the case for Mayer, so I assume she wouldn't buy Hulu without the content. That doesn't make sense. Unless....she knows something that we don't know...like Yahoo is going into the original content creation business like Netflix - but even then, we would still be years away from Hulu recovering from the networks pulling their stuff.
Give them a little credit please.
1. Yahoo will negotiate some kind of licensing agreement.
2. Yahoo will benefit from a known name and existing users.
I never said that "buying lots of big properties so you can advertise across all of them" is CEO genius. I said...that Mayer is increasingly showing her genius.
It's not about acquiring internet properties...it is the properties that she is choosing to acquire. It's also the fact that those properties are even agreeing to be acquired by her - that is making her feat even more impressive.
Nothing is guaranteed to be a slam-dunk. Many of these acquisitions may turn out to be duds or not as good as we (who want to see Mayer succeed) hope.
>* It's something that Yahoo was doing for years before Meyer even came on board- they bought Flickr and Delicious, and tried to buy Facebook.*
I think that statement alone is an indication to the genius that is Mayer. Yahoo tried to buy Facebook for a similar $1B back in the day, and was rebuffed. Fast forward a few years, and under different leadership a similar deal can be made with a similarly "hot startup" and the deal is accepted. Sure, I know there are many factors at play, but the fact of the matter is just a few years ago - Yahoo couldn't make these types of deals. It must be that I am not the only one that thinks she is doing a good job.
Also, if what she is doing is not genius, then why did no one else do it like her before? The genius in this situation is not going on a shopping spree willy nilly. She came in, and has clearly looked at Yahoo for what it is. She doesn't seem to be trying to be like Google - although some of the commenters here dispute that. She is steadily, and systematically improving the best of Yahoo and killing the worst. She is also adding properties that will play to Yahoo's strengths.
The mere fact that they unveiled a re-design of Flickr that puts pictures front-and-center, while acquiring Tumblr. I think people misunderstand what a brilliant move that is.
She refreshed a property that is inherently friendly to "display media" (i.e. not link/text based media) - while buying another hot property that is inherently friendly to "display media". Once they crack the code, that allows them to add adverts to the content on their network, without sacrificing the quality of the experience too much (i.e. doing to display media what Google did to SERP results).....that could be even more powerful than what Google did - because most brands and agencies prefer display media, because it connects with the audience more.
If they spam all their properties with annoying Flash ads then that is an easy way to squander it - but if they figure out a novel/innovative way to monetize this inventory....and she continues to acquire hot properties at the current rate....we could be looking at the most valuable tech company in the next decade. If not most valuable, if you assume that Google doesn't find another major stream of revenue, Yahoo could be worth more than Google at least.
You heard it here first ;)
Edit: Oh...and also....no serious buyer would pay any amount of series cash for Hulu without reasonable contracts for the content that makes it so appealing. If Mayer does that, that would be a dumb move - unless she knows something we don't....which I don't think that's the case. Given her short track record, I would be surprised (and disappointed) if she did that.
While buying your way into the party is a nice first step, what do you do when you don't have the talent pool to continue to innovate and can't even grow it? Especially when you don't allow remote work, and this industry is increasingly going remote (even if only part-time)?
I'm seeing a lot of big talk (primarily via money) from Yahoo, but I don't feel convinced that this is going anywhere. Without a focus on the people and innovation, what do you do after you buy a bunch of startups? So far Yahoo's response has been "buy them and let them operate independently." People go to work at Google to work at Google, not to work at a subsidiary of Google. So if I wanted to go work for Hulu, I'd want to work for Hulu, not Yahoo. Yahoo hasn't been an engineer's company for a very, very long time, and I don't see them taking strides to fix that, so it's hard to say what's going to happen.
Of course, it is a big jump to go from buying companies to transforming their culture to match the perception that they are attempting to create. Perhaps removing the ability to work remotely was a bad first step, perhaps not. I imagine that Mayer knew what she was doing here and it will likely turn out to be a positive move. The big question is what other steps they take internally to truly change the culture. It could be a big flop, but if anybody knows a little something about company culture it would be Mayer.
That's the thing, it's all public perception and not based in reality. I've worked at Y! for ~4 years (software engineer) and love it. As Marissa has publicly stated, Y! is the world's largest startup, so there's a ridiculous amount of opportunity to work on fun and challenging problems.
All CEOs state that because its the hot, sexy thing. Especially for the new, younger employee generation.
The problem is you don't want a culture with the public perception, at least for engineering, you're looking for the the same culture that are leaving the company now. So many awesome things came out of Y! but I feel much like they are going the ways of Sun.
I'm sure Yahoo still has a big talent pool. Don't really know how they managed to do it as it doesn't really make sense, however if you want some proof of that, take a look at: http://developer.yahoo.com/everything.html (speaking of which, did you know that Apache Hadoop was initiated and is still led by Yahoo?)
> So far Yahoo's response has been "buy them and let them operate independently."
Actually that wasn't Yahoo's behaviour in the past. Delicious for example stagnated after they began rewriting/redesigning it, as they wanted Delicious to be "integrated" with Yahoo's network. Development eventually grinned to a halt. If Yahoo would have kept Flickr or Delicious operating independently, then both would be a lot bigger than they are today.
Yahoo also did a stupid move when they sold Delicious. But at the very least they sold it, instead of shutting it down, like Google did with Reader.
> People go to work at Google to work at Google, not to work at a subsidiary of Google.
Well, no, you're talking about the poor fools that go through that awful interview process without caring about what they'll end-up working on, being assigned on Calendar, or on fixing bugs of internal tools, or on some project destined for some African country that nobody will ever hear about, or on some other soul-sucking activity with the only thing to show for being a Google T-shirt.
Google is still a good brand among employers and it's still something to be able to say that you're working at Google, however, like all other big software companies, Google got too big and those with a minimal internal knowledge of how things work there know for a fact that it really isn't the glamorous place to work at, unless you're lucky.
> Yahoo hasn't been an engineer's company for a very, very long time, and I don't see them taking strides to fix that
I can't possibly imagine how in the world would you know that, unless you worked for them. Well did you?
Uh, bringing a billion people onto the Internet for the first time, and turning the 3rd world into the 1st world, isn't most people's definition of soul-sucking.
That is pretty much the exact same thing as Terry Semel's vision for Yahoo was.
Perhaps he didn't have the geek cred that Mayer has - so no one would make the deals with him.
Tumblr is a major coup for her, and if she pulls of Hulu...that would be crazy too.
(Look at their financials: http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/yhoo/financials)
Analysts only expect sales to increase 1-3% over the next few years:
She was pulled in to make big moves.... and is making them!
A roll-up is not exactly a new strategy, especially in media. You attempt to build economies of scale by amassing audience and distribution. Historically, however, the prices you pay (especially once folks figure out what you're doing) often prove to be inflated later on.
News Corp, Comcast, etc. They don't have the experience selling online display media like Yahoo!
Guess who else does? No one!!!!
So they have an incentive to cooperate.
As I said earlier, if Mayer makes a deal without locking up long-term contracts, then on the surface that seems like a dumb deal.
Given what I have seen of her so far, I would be surprised if she did that. She is doing good so far.
It's what happens after the acquisitions are made that will determine whether Yahoo just blew billions of dollars or actually pushed their company forward into the next generation.
It's not about the fact that she is making acquisitions. It is a well known fact that CEOs like to be self-aggrandizing by doing big deals.
The difference is the TYPE of deals she is doing.
All of her deals, so far, fit into Yahoo's strengths.
Also...the fact that she is able to do these deals at all, is testament to her genius. Many others before her tried, but couldn't do these deals.
So there must be something different about her than everybody else that tried.
Edit: And yes, the story is yet to be told about how these acquisitions turn out. But with the refocus on product, recent redesign and refactor of Flickr and the way she is consolidating Yahoo's focus around products that give quality display media inventory. That is the genius. It is easy to dismiss it, but if it were so easy, why did no one else do it - including 2 of the founders!
There is no genius in just buying random stuffs.
It is so short sided ( stock pumping ) it can only lead to a crash .
There is 0 strategy just a big bubble.
"In 2011, Hulu’s owners put the company up for sale and were looking for a bid of at least $2 billion; in exchange, they would offer content licenses that would run for two to three years."
"Last month, former News Corp. COO Peter Chernin submitted a starting bid of $500 million, with the understanding that he would be willing to pay more for extended licenses."
Basically, a huge chunk of Hulu's value is having a wide selection of content. At the same time the people doing the highest value licencing also own the content. Right now they can play an accounting game and lower the licencing costs to make it look profitable sell and then raise their licencing costs. Effectively it's the same money because they own the company as long as all the owners agree to a sweetheart deal. Unfortunately for them they are having some issue deciding just how much everyone should discount there content to make Hulu look better. However, nobody got suckered into there 2 billion dollar shell game.
Their content is actually not that good, and on top of it, you're forced to watch commercials as well. The service was terrible.
It makes perfect sense. Money from subscriptions is good; extra money from ads is better. And as much as you or I dislike it, we're probably in a minority position here - if it was really cutting into earnings, they'd have cut it out by now.
Granted HBO and Netflix don't have commercials but I think they also both use product placement (edit: see granddaughter comment for more info) in their original content so it's not like there's some philosophical commitment they've made to not show subscribers ads to pad the bottom line.
$8: Hulu with x ads per show.
$9: Hulu ad free.
There was a True Blood/Apple image series atop reddit not too long ago but Googling reveals that HBO insists that they don't raise money for product placement but allow writers to use products so score one for HBO.
Humorously, Apple claims they don't pay for product placement but they do give devices away which is supposed to be different I guess.
Netflix ran into problems with Lillehammer due to Norwegian law against paid placement.
House of Cards with non-paid for Apple advert below:
That means if you were watching 2 episodes a day Hulu was making more from you in a month from ads then from the Hulu Plus subscription. And I think ads have noticeably increased since 2011. I guess we know why that autoplay next episode kicks in so fast. And I guess it goes to the true cost of these licensing deals and why Netflix has a much worse tv selection that's a year old.
Most of their half hour (21 minute) shows only contain at most three minutes of commercials spread through the show. At worse you're sitting through a minute break from the show.
People pay $100+ per month and seem to live through tens of minutes of commercials per show.
Plus is about having device and HD access more than anything. I like it as I get far more content from it than I can over the air and I refuse to pay $60-100/month for cable/satellite.
For instance, I still have the jingle of this horrid local low-budget commercial from KFTY TV 50 (UHF broadcasting out of Santa Rosa, CA) in my brain: "♫ Auto body masters... EuroCal... ♫ Auto body masters... EuroCal...".
I was fucking eight. It's been thirty fucking years. And yet that crappy little jingle for a company I never used still bubbles up to the surface sometimes, in the shower or in the subway station. We all carry around these little worthless turd fossils in our heads. I noticed my friend humming McDonalds' I'm lovin' it to herself as she worked just 20 minutes ago.
I havent seen a TV commercial in years.
We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by information. Some of it stick to your brain whether you like it or not. Presumably the brain has a finite amount of bandwidth for processing/retaining incoming information. With that in mind, I'll do my best to avoid commercials so something from the 'useful' information streams has a better chance of sticking.
Or perhaps my brain will latch on to some other useless information. But thats ok, because adverts are the fucking bottom-feeders of the information ocean.
Commercials didnt use to annoy me that much. But for the last three years I've consumed all my TV via Netflix and online video, commercial free. Now I find commercials unbearable. Sometimes I even get angry - how dare they interrupt my immersion and enjoyment of a story? Imagine if you were reading a book and every 5 minutes some obnoxious advert interrupted you? Thats how weird it feels.
I wish there were no ads in the middle of a programme. I hate it. We live in a world of "director's cuts", so I'm surprised we still get weird stupid ads throughout a movie.
But are TV adverts really more "mentally polluting" than a 80s song or a limerick you picked up at a schoolyard? Relax everybody.
Thats a nice perspective, I might try that. The science of advertising is also interesting - these marketers spent squillions of research dollars on figuring out the most effective technique to transfer an idea/emotion/brand (essentially a meme) to your brain. Those techniques are also applicable to giving a presentation for work and public speaking. I've noticed the most successful people in the workplace are those who can 'sell' their ideas to their colleagues and managers.
But are TV adverts really more "mentally polluting" than a 80s song or a limerick you picked up at a schoolyard?
For the most case I think you're right. There is a subset of more evil adverts which attempt to play on insecurities (body image, gender roles/responsibilities, medical fearmonging). But most advertising is just...transient noise. Never attribute to malice what can be explained by banality.
I have a pet theory that our brains will retain a certain amount of useless 'mental pollution' regardless of what information streams are being thrown at it. Not because we need those little nuggets of useless information, but because they are implicit to the formation and recall of other 'useful' memories and emotions. Memory is a multi-sensory thing, regardless of what part of the memory is 'useful'.
Music is a special case, its ability to trigger episodic memories is very strong. I like to think of it in computer science terms as a hash table. If you spend enough time doing a certain thing whilst listening to the same music, the event is stored against the hash (music). Then in the future, listening to this music will trigger a very strong memory of that time in your life.
I spent many hours as a teenager listening to music whilst playing video games. Now if I listen to these albums, the memories instantly 'come flooding back' as the saying goes.
I believe olfactory triggers are stronger than auditory triggers. Perhaps smell-o-vision advertising is the next big thing.
 Not a great analogy - the linking and recall is really bidirectional.
One of the reasons I stopped watching (the stand-up comedy section at the start of) late-night talk shows is because laughing meant I was inside the bubble and, in my view, part of the problem.
Also interesting to think about is if we take out the need for money (ie, in Star Trek or back when we traded things) it makes me wonder what we would be spending our time with, mentally and otherwise.
Which, while not in heavy rotation on my current playlists, would still be a big upgrade.
Speaking from a purely speculative and subjective opinion, it could be partially due to neurodiversity within the population. The root cause could be that differing clusters of people have differing cognitive processing abilities.
For example, personally I despise commercials, because they break the flow, and force a context switch. Similarly, movement on the computer screen, whilst trying to read text is highly stressful to me. For this reason, I choose to install extensions (adblockers etc) to make sure that the screen is static, and only moves when I want it to.
Some people try to control their environment, others tend to adapt. Case in point, my oldest friend, is the opposite to me, and he doesn't mind adverts, or distractions, and actually prefers to study with music playing. I'm constantly amazed how others like him, manage to blend so efficiently into the environment.
I don't subscribe to TV or Hulu or anything but Netflix for this very reason. I would cancel Netflix if they inserted ads. I would rather pay $50 a month for Netflix if that meant being ad-free.
Sorry, but I don't buy this. An episode of, say, Breaking Bad does not need several-minute "act breaks" to work, so that something will "sink in".
There is no series in existence so intellectually or emotionally overwhelming that one needs ad breaks to deal with them.
(Though admittedly I frequently have to pause shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm because I need some fresh air after all the social embarrassment, but that's different.)
I suspect that most people here with cable don't watch any commercials, due to the magic of DVR. At least, that's true for me. I can't stand not being able to skip them, so I hate Hulu.
Many people are making so much money that the cost of TV shows will never be an issue, if only someone were willing to sell it to them. They still only have 24 hours in a day, and they are being shown ads they have seen many times before, and those ads weren't interesting in the first place.
TV users can easily use a DVR to skip ads.
The whole point of Hulu was to stop piracy and return any cash generated to the content providers, not to be a profitable ongoing business. I don't even know what it means to buy a company that must funnel all revenues to content providers. It seems like Yahoo is bidding on something they won't actually control.
And a viable competitor to YouTube's new paid subscription service. UGC was the big thing in video since YouTube launched, but the real revenue generator could be paid subscriptions, and that market is wide-open. Hulu doesn't -have- to be big studios.
And yahoo is a company with alot of add inventory!
Still, you can imagine a scenario where Yahoo signs an ad deal with say General Motors for an overall package for all their properties, and then throws in Hulu as a bonus.
Keep the ad rates at Hulu at whatever minimum is written into the content deals, but use that as a bonus/loss leader for the real money that's allocated to advertising on the other Yahoo properties.
So while what you said may be true in general, it seems especially likely in this case.
This would be the first thing anyone acquiring Hulu would look at.
The agency model in Hollywood will eventually fade away because middle men don't offer as much utility as they once did when information wasn't so readily available.
It's surprising to see any of the major agencies waking up to this idea and acting on it.
If WME wins the bid we could see some interesting changes in the entertainment industry.
If actors, writers and directors (talent) are only a single step away from creating content in an environment where distribution has very low variable cost then we could see a boom of high quality independent films and shows. Think House of Cards (Netflix US) on a more frequent basis.
I don't know about WME, but CAA also has a small venture arm.
They are so far ahead #1 that they can't see it. It's a classic innovators dilemma problem.
Given that Hulu is now owned by the folks who license its content, any new buyer/owner can expect to pay astronomically more (think of what happens to Netflix every few years as they license content) or lose access to content every few years. Essentially, the owners would sell you the company and retain the option to put you out of business. It's a really bad deal.
I tried scanning the thread, but ironically more knowledgeable people have not mentioned cable television did not originally have ads; at least one of my parents said this was the appeal of premium cable at its inception. Wikipedia kind of confirms this in several places, but does not discuss the history of ads on cable TV specifically, which I would want to read more about.
So, keep in mind it is the lazy or indifferent among us who let them get on cable in the first place, so surprise surprise Hulu and other content providers are not going to diverge from the inertia of greediness set by their industry decades ago.
Also, not to defend Hulu, but they tried a lot of experimenting with fronting the ads in blocks so you can watch shows interrupted. I respected they made an effort, and they need to show with ad revenue and subscriptions (just like cable companies and satellite providers before them) they can use these models on the web to turn a profit. I actually considered Hulu subscription, even if it is garbage, because supporting legit streaming content in any form is the only way to drive it home to these morons in the entertainment industry that I want internet-based services, not DVDs, movie theaters, set-top boxes with encryption cards, etc.
Here in the UK, iPlayer dominates the online market. If she can come with a paid for equivalent getting things like Game of Thrones and original content on the level of house of cards, Yahoo could really challenge that.
There's a mix of things; multi-platform free VoD (iPlayer, 4oD, ITV), multi-platform subscription VoD (Netflix, Blinkbox, Lovefilm), subscription live stuff (Sky).
I would credit the BBC with spurring on this competition - they've expanded the mindshare for these kind of products with everyday people probably more than any other company. They're not really competing with the other players in the UK, though.
A new player would be competing with the likes of Sky (who own the rights to a load of premium stuff, which wouldn't be up for grabs for a long time, and when it is, would be fought for). Netflix has this problem right now with movie and TV rights.
To those who say it has been tried before by other CEOs: Flickr and Delicious generate pictures and bookmarks. Pictures and bookmarks have pathetic monetization rates, compared to articles/blog posts. With Hulu, it gets better - awesome paid subscription rates, along with monetization via advertising.
Just look at AOL as the model company that did this in the late 90s and early 2000s. They broke so many companies they acquired and it only hurt AOL.
Google and Facebook have been successful at it because they essentially used it as a way to hire smart people who wouldn't have interviewed with them.
1) "web only" content licenses. Nevermind that they really mean "PC only", it's a confusing user experience to pay for a service and have content selectively unavailable. I think that this is mostly Fox's fault.
2) choppy ad serving. Video serves very consistently, but ads are prone to pausing, stuttering and other buggy behavior.
This article is a leak, the question is by whom, and to what purpose. The cynic in me says that Yahoo made some lowball offer and Hulu leaked it to try to drum up more interest.
I might be rushing it a bit, but we need competition at the top!
It burns me even more that the ads are so repetitive.