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Crow550

This would never happen.

FearNo1

No. That would be a mess.

Hbi2k

Maybe it's just me being cynical, but I can only imagine a Netflix / Hulu merger as a bloated, unmanageable monstrosity, a Cthulu replete with a multitude of left hands ignorant of the activities of their respective rights, and without any competition fearsome enough to force it to streamline itself back to efficacy. In other words, an absolute disaster for both the end user and anyone with a financial stake in its success.

And Netflix buy Hulu outright? HA! Netflix WISHES it had pockets deep enough to spirit Hulu away from its Old Media corporate overlords.

Davis Freeberg

I think a merger would have less than a 10% chance of getting past the FTC, so the article is really more wishful thinking than anything. Beyond that, I don't see Netflix having any interest in selling a bunch of ads to stuff in the middle of their videos. Plus, one would have to bet that the cost of the content would increase as soon as the studios now longer own the company.

Jeffro

"Netflix might even be able to expand the free service with titles from its back catalog, or reduce its subscription prices by placing a few ads to some streaming titles currently under its pay service."

Great. More advertisements on things that I've already pay for. It's really sweet paying for a service once. It's the bees-knees paying twice, though. I've got money to burn. Cool Beans!

Will Dearborn

No!

George

Mr. Manjoo obviously has not thought this out and is writing simply to exploit some controversy and generate traffic. As a business model, rarely would you buy someone out when you can replicate it yourself. Think about it. What does Hulu have that Netflix doesn't have (and vice versa)? Hulu has legal agreements with certain content owners for the streaming of their current content. That's it. They have relatively few paying customers, a generic web site, and little infrastructure. Now, compare that to Netflix that has the huge customer base, a strong streaming infrastructure, a decent web site (that needs improvements), a much longer history, and a very strong partner structure with companies like Roku, Tivo, and Microsoft. Most importantly, you can be sure that Netflix's business people know the same people in order to acquire the same content that Hulu already has.

So, really, why in the world would Netflix pay a significant premium to acquire Hulu, which has nothing but contracts? Just put the contracts in place. Why buy a competitor when you can beat him?

Tomguy

Sounds like a good idea, until that part about placing a few ads.

Zero ads is the reason I subscribe to Netflix.

Ads are the reason I seldom watch Hulu any more and seldom watch anything via cable On Demand.

dAVe

Wow, seriously, where was the Senior Editor of this "magazine" when it came time to green-light this article for publication.

When will we get the next "NetFlix bought/sold/merger" posting? It's a subject matter that never get's old.

ScottZ

Isn't Hulu owned by NBC, FOX, Universal, etc?

If so, why would these content owners want to sell a direct method for them to earn subscription and ad revenue.

Internet transmission is slowing taking over, Over The Air broadcasting. I think the idea of Netflix buying Hulu is wishful thinking at best.

Joe Blaow

If Netflix and Hulu had a baby, what would it look like?

Laura

I agree with the above comments. I'd drop the service if Netflix ever put ads in their streaming videos. I'd MUCH rather pay my current monthly fee than watch commercials so I can pay less.
I don't watch live tv anymore because of the commercials. I haven't listened to anything but talk radio in ages because they play as many ads as music.
When will people learn? The public will pay more for no ads on a good service!

VaHillbillie

Ads??
A POX ON ADS! >:o(
We are all bombarded with ads as it is and I, for one, do not want any more intrusive ads!
Note the word "intrusive".... Which means, to me, that I would drop Netflix like a hot potato if they forced me to sit through tv style commercials before my streaming content started.
I don't mind if they put some static ads on the sides of their screens if they want to as long as they aren't too big and are not animated/flashing or tv commercials.

As for a Hulu/Netflix merger....... I doubt it happens.
I'd like the current tv content that Hulu has but not at the cost of putting up with in-your-face ads or a subscription price increase.

Will

I have zero interest in this ever happening (and, fortunately, it almost certainly never will.) Hulu doesn't even have a lot of the shows I want to watch anyway. And the day Netflix starts showing commercials for paid subscribers like Hulu does is the day I cancel Netflix permanently.

scJohn

Hulu's IPO is suppose to be around $2 billion. Mot sure if NF could swallow that much less pay a premium.

And what would happen with ABC, FOX and NBC. They could yank all of the programming.

And what about the ads? Two very different business models. I don't really see this happening.

Now BB, that's another story. Unfortunately it looks like BB will be going with a "prepackaged deal". NF could swoop in and pick up portions of BB and either fold them into NF of just shut them down. The mail order business could be shut down and those subscribers transferred to NF. Give them a free month or two. Shut down the movie steaming business. Sell the Kiosks business to RedBox. This would leave just the retail business.

This would really make the studios mad.

alan

sure hope not as things would change for the worse

Tvaddic

This would dramatically increase all of our membership prices. Yeah I don't want that at all, please keep them separate.

Sock Puppet

@ Joe Blaow

If Netflix and Hulu had a baby, what would it look like?

Like Joo Man...

Blah Ha Ha... Sorry guys it just popped into my head!

thats_right

The big advantage Hulu has over netflix is its content deals for network shows. You acquire a company because it has technology you need, or a revenue stream you can capitalize on and expand. Netflix is ahead of Hulu in the streaming space, and could license the hulu content w/o having to buy an entire company.

Absurd idea.

SmithCommaJohn

@George "Just put the contracts in place. Why buy a competitor when you can beat him?"

Except it's not that easy. Hulu is owned by the content owners (NBC, ABC, and FOX), and they will NEVER let Netflix replicate what they're doing with Hulu. That would put Netflix in even more direct competition with them, and since when Hulu and Netflix do the same thing, Netflix does it better, they don't exactly have an incentive to do that.

Dagnabit

Far-hat is always writing poorly-thought out 'articles'. Don't know if its the pressure for content or he just has the habit of vomiting out his first thought on the page and calling it complete. Hey! Maybe Apple should buy Microsoft! Think about it! Combine the best of both worlds....

Miss Information

@ SmithCommaJohn - Never say never. Money talks. Think about the relativity deal? Epix? these are deals that would "never" happen. The content distributors (NBC/ABC/FOX) are not necessarily the content owners (sometimes, yes, sometimes, no). There are mixed motivations around hulu's owners (who, btw, all run their own free sites with the exact same free content).

Mo

Anything service with ads, I'll drop like a bad habit.

Zoey377

No.

Eugene

Hulu is owned by NBC and Fox- it's not a real company. They use it to stream their TV shows and other content. Why would they want to sell their contract to Netflix, when they already have a bare-bones site to manage the content?

Moreover, why would Netflix want to spend money acquiring a website that streams free TV shows, a model of LOSING MONEY, when they can wait for the DVDs of those shows to come out, and then market them to customers? Manjoo go back to school. HNF stop posting complete crap.

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