Is Apple trying to upset video-streaming market by acquiring Hulu?
Sometimes opportunity knocks softly, and other times it beats the door in. For internet video-streaming services, the opportunity is sounding loud and clear for a major shakeup of the entire structure.
Recently, Netflix announced a price change and rate increase for its services, which offer both streaming video and DVD at-home delivery. This move, which has been speculated to push users away from the DVD delivery and into streaming-video offerings, has caused an uproar among fans and users of the service.
This has provided the knock of opportunity for Apple and Hulu. An acquisition of Hulu would open Apple up to range of possibilities that do not already exist with current Apple users. Reuters reported on Friday the many pros and cons of the deal, a link to the article is here, and some of the key pros are interesting to look at. One of the key pros of the deal is the users.
Apple converts do not just like Apple. It nearly becomes obsessive. As the Reuters report points out, users love to watch Hulu. A combination of these two beloved companies, especially with Apple footing the bill for upgrades and streamlingin of service, add in a dash of the dissatisfaction felt by Netflix users, and this could blow-up, in a good way, for Apple and Hulu.
The key for users, though, is selection. Netflix did not just offend people by the rate hike. In fact, it could be argued that Netflix is undervalued based on the service it provides, considering the cost of a cable subscription per month. One of the chief complaints amongst those on the Netflix Facebook page wasn’t the price hike, but the limited selection on the streaming only plan.
With Apple’s deep pockets, an Apple/Hulu partnership could fill the gap that Netflix has inadvertantly created. Licensing fees can wreak havok for streaming video providers, but if played out properly, Apple could use Hulu to siphon off disaffected users from Netflix, increasing their ad based revenue. Furthermore, the deal could separate the broadcast connection with NBC, News Corp and Disney, allowing Apple/Hulu to make licensing deals with other broadcasters such as CBS or ABC. The question, overall, is how much truth lies behind these rumors. Time will tell, and internet streaming-video users are waiting patiently to see the outcome.