Time Warner bought 10% stake in video service Hulu for $583 million. Time Warner Cable channels including TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, TNT, and Turner Classic Movies will now be available to Hulu’s online video service. Reports say that the new service of Hulu may also offer small bundle packages for roughly $40 a month.
Chief Executive of Time Warner, Jeff Bewkes, said that the investment will “increase our company’s exposure to the secular growth in over-the-top.” He further added that Hulu will have more resources to invest in programming that will develop “competition and innovation”, among cable distributers and streaming services.
“These are just the latest examples of our commitment to supporting innovative digital services that allow consumers to access high-quality content however they want it across a variety of platforms,” Bewkes said. At present, Comcast Corp, Walt Disney Co., and 21st Century Fox Inc., are the major shareholders of Hulu, with each having 30% of its shares. However, with its 10% shares, Time Warner Cable gets a big role in Hulu’s strategic decisions.
Hulu Moves To A Pay-To-Play Model
As per some reports, Hulu is planning to change to a pay-to-play model. The company has recently invested in expanding its TV and film library, and in original content. So the new change is not very shocking.
Hulu senior vice president and head of experience, Ben Smith, said that, “For the past couple years, we’ve been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers.”
“As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy,” Smith added.
Interestingly, Yahoo has also announced the launch of Yahoo View, which will allow free access to Hulu content to the users. “Yahoo View is the extension of Yahoo’s long-standing distribution partnership with Hulu and will offer thousands of TV, anime, Korean drama and movies including full episodes, films, and clips for free,” the company representatives said.
“This further emphasizes Yahoo’s commitment to create an experience for people to consume content they care about while being able to connect with a community of like-minded fans,” a Yahoo spokesperson said in a press release.