What’s going on with Hulu? Will it still be around as we know it in a few months? How will we live without it if it’s gone? In January, Hulu’s CEO Jason Kilar and CTO Rich Tom announced their plans to step down from the company within the first quarter of the year (now). As of right now, there have been no plans announced for the future of the video service. Where will we watch our SNL clips now?
Currently, Hulu has three owners – Comcast, Disney and News Corp. Each owner has different ideas for the direction the company should take once the current powers that be step down. Disney wants to focus on Hulu’s free, ad-supported, streaming service. News Corp wants to focus on the paid subscription service, Hulu Plus. Further still, either company could purchase the stake held by the other and gain full control, or a new buyer could come out of the woodwork and change the game completely.
Hulu has been successful in the past due to the content derived from its owners, Disney and Comcast, giving it a significant advantage over similar video streaming services (I’m looking at you, Netflix and Amazon). However, Disney just recently signed a deal with Hulu’s strongest competitor, Netflix, to stream new release movies. This deal will not go into effect until 2016, but it is still a blow to Hulu’s strength. It appears that Disney has decided spreading its eggs into multiple baskets will yield the highest profits.
Remember when Hulu was the coolest thing to happen to TV back when it debuted in 2007? I do. It was life changing. Will it be able to regain its foothold in the changing media landscape? It’s hard to tell with all this uncertainty surrounding control and ownership. We won’t know anything until the CEO business is figured out, and by then it might be too late. Disney runs the world, like Beyoncé, and doesn’t seem like the type of company to jump ship unless the tides have turned too far. Netflix has grown into even more of a behemoth after that whole Qwikster debacle- producing a few of its own television series (House of Cards is awesome, by the way), and bringing Arrested Development back from the dead. Further, it has gotten more and more content, more television shows and new releases, to provide endless entertainment.
With its largest competitor growing by the day, the uncertain leadership and Disney spreading the wealth, the future for Hulu is quite unclear.
Will you miss it if it goes?
Featured image via Hulu