The attempt to sell off Hulu and focus on more studio/broadcaster oriented individual streaming sites has ended, rather abruptly, as News Corp., Disney and Providence Equity Partners., along with Hulu senior management, issued a joint statement saying, in part, “Our focus now rests solely on ensuring that our efforts as owners contribute in a meaningful way to the exciting future that lies ahead for Hulu.”
With hopes several months ago about a bidding plan that should have fetched upwards of $3 billion for the company, it looks like what once might have been a quick and easy sale has fallen through completely with no buyers stepping up for the money that the main partners of Disney and News Corp. wanted for it.
“Since Hulu holds a unique and compelling strategic value to each of its owners, we have terminated the sale process and look forward to working together to continue mapping out its path to even greater success,” the companies said in their joint statement Thursday.
How well used is the service? It currently takes in $7.99 a month from 1 million Hulu Plus subscribers and the free version gets approximately 25 million unique viewers a month who spend about 206 minutes per month watching videos — including targeted advertising that users cannot skip through.
“Media companies should be going out of their way to retain ownership of Hulu and allow it to flourish,” Richard Greenfield of BTIG wrote in August. “The big media companies have all failed when it comes to digital. While it’s hard to pin down why they fail, even if they acquire or invest in the right assets, the DNA of traditional media companies seems to have a negative impact on virtually all digital initiatives. Hulu is the exception to that rule.”