Status of talks remains unclear
Former News Corp president Peter Chernin has reportedly submitted a $500 million bid to buy Hulu, several unnamed sources have told Reuters. Aside from noting the value of the alleged offer, the report does not shed light on the seriousness of the buyout talks. The company has been wooing potential buyers for several years, aiming in 2011 to fetch $2 billion for the streaming TV service.
Streaming service yet to receive formal offer for sale
Hulu could come under new ownership, if rumors about its potential sale is true. News Corp and Disney are said to be considering selling the streaming service to one of a number of potential suitors, though they are also considering the option of buying each other out in order to take full control of the company.
Sources point to new video offering
Spotify is reportedly preparing to launch a streaming video service that may rival Netflix and other established players, unnamed sources have told Business Insider. The unconfirmed report suggests the company is already attempting to find partners that will help produce exclusive content, following a strategy already employed by Hulu and Netflix.
Makes ease-of-use upgrades
Hulu has launched a new version of its Apple TV app for Hulu Plus subscribers. The app uses a new interface, for example adding TV, Movies, Kids, and Latino content categories to the top navigation bar. Each category highlights both new content and any series a person already watches. Along similar lines, the app as a whole sports a new "Shows You Watch" tray, which makes it easier to return to commonly-watched material.
Renews exclusive programming from France, UK
Hulu has previewed three new shows that it will air in the summer as part of its original programming drive. The new shows, a pair of comedy series and a docu-series, are also joined by a number of new exclusive shows that will start in January, while existing Hulu-specific programming has also seen renewals.
Streaming services added days after US console launch
Nintendo has now expanded the streaming video options for the Wii U from the initial offering of Netflix. Both Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus have been included in the Wii U, just days after the console's US launch. Netflix, the natural competitor for both companies, has been included on the console since November 18th.
Medium, Numb3rs, other CBS shows in non-exclusive deal
CBS and Hulu revealed today a new multi-year agreement that will bring CBS' television content to the popular streaming service. CBS shows will now be available on Hulu Plus in a non-exclusive arrangement, but the broadcaster is said to be holding out on making its content available on the free version of Hulu.
US console gets video streaming, earlier launch
Nintendo has laid out its plans for the Wii U release in the US and Europe. Release dates and prices were discussed in both events, however the US and Canada will also have several applications for streaming video to the console, under the banner of "Nintendo TVii."
Apple TV support arrives year after service's Japanese debut
Hulu is now accessible via the Apple TV in Japan, according to an official announcement. The option doesn't require a firmware upgrade; instead, as with an equivalent update to US Apple TVs, Hulu should simply appear in the set-top's menus. People can try Hulu for a month before a paid subscription is needed.
Memo hints at management buyout, content changes
Content streaming site Hulu may be about to undergo significant changes over the next few months as an internal realignment looms that could see current CEO Jason Kilar departing. Variety has obtained an internal memo from the site detailing the possible reorganization within the streaming site. The coming changes could see not only the departure of Kilar, but also a significant weakening of the popular television portal.
Adds major service to Apple set-top
The Apple TV has been updated in the US with access to Hulu Plus, users note. Despite popping up a new icon on the set-top's homescreen, the change doesn't require a new firmware download. Access to Hulu Plus does, however, cost $10 a month after a free week-long trial expires.
iTunes, Hulu, Netflix traffic allegedly discriminated against
The Justice Department is allegedly in the midst of a large-scale antitrust investigation focusing on potentially anticompetitive practices by cable companies that compete with online video purveyors such as Apple's iTunes store, Hulu, or Netflix. Regulators are said to be attempting to determine if Comcast violated a net-neutrality agreement to not discriminate against competitors that send data through its Internet service to reach customers, though the broad probe is claimed to involve other cable companies.
Netgear NeoTV Pro gets Intel WiDi support, Netgear adds four new channels
Netgear has now followed up its NeoTV 200 media hub with a new NeoTV Pro version that most significantly adds support for Intel's WiDi tech. This lets compatible Intel desktops and notebooks wirelessly stream what's on their displays through the media hub to an HDTV. The box otherwise retains the same Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, YouTube, and Pandora streaming of the original.
Apple marketshare drops to 32.3 percent
In 2011, Netflix surpassed Apple in terms of US online movie revenue, according to IHS. Netflix's share of the market jumped to 44 percent; by comparison, it had less than 1 percent in 2010. Apple controlled 60.8 percent of revenue in 2010, but even though its revenue has continued to grow, its marketshare has shrunk to just 32.3 percent.
Video player gets 're-engineered'
Video service Hulu has released a major update of Hulu Plus for iOS, v2.5. Most of the focus of the update is on iPad support, since it adds compatibility with the third-generation iPad's Retina display, and also enhances the native interface. Hulu has moreover improved AirPlay mirroring and HDMI output, which should also work when an iPad is in operating in split view mode. Users must have at least an iPad 2 or an iPhone 4S.
Hulu may shift wholesale to requiring TV service
Hulu may remove itself from contention as a pure Internet video service based on rumors overnight. The historically connected New York Post cited insiders who claimed the service would take the Fox authentication strategy, where customers must prove they have conventional TV access, and make it a broader policy. Fox's deal would see it soon talk to Comcast for a deal using the TV Everywhere imitative.
Hulu steps up original video content
Hulu used its turn at upfronts for TV content to reveal that it was adding four original shows beyond those teased earlier in the year. The strategy would be headlined by The Awesomes, a superhero comedy show due in 2013 that would draw on Saturday Night Live actors Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker. A nearer-term committed show, the 2012 basketball series We Got Next, would have The Game's Hale Rothstein and Kenya Barris along with The Office's Danny Leiner.
Hulu doesn't charge for incompletely watched ads
US streaming video service Hulu has just celebrated its own achievements by announcing that its paid Hulu Plus subscription service has reached the two million subscribers milestone this past winter, which is faster than any other US service, be it online or offline. It's also shared some news that's bound to make advertisers happy. It will not charge advertisers if viewers skip their ads, only billing them based on a 100 percent completion rate.
Netflix may spur FCC action on Comcast neutrality
A commentary by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings may have brought official FCC scrutiny on Comcast for its cap exemption of Xfinity TV on the Xbox 360. He argued that Comcast was violating net neutrality principles by giving its own service a 'free' pass while applying the cap to competing services, including not just his own Netflix but HBO Go and Hulu Plus as well. After being asked by the Wall Street Journal, the FCC said it "takes seriously" allegations of violations like these and was following what was going on.
Convergence Consulting estimates 2012 cutters too
Over one million pay TV customers stopped their subscriptions in the US last year, a Convergence Consulting Group research report (PDF) published this month found. The total number was 2.65 million since 2008, as users look to online streaming services such as Netflix. Researchers estimated the 2011 figure at 1.05 million.
New Hulu Plus app arrives on 7 Android tablets
Streaming TV show and movie provider Hulu on Thursday announced it has made its Hulu Plus service on seven new Android tablets. This includes the Acer Iconia Tab line, ASUS Transformer Prime and Eee Pad Transformer, LG G-Slate, Motorola Xoom, Motorola Xyboard 10.1, and Toshiba Thrive. The app (free, Google Play) will become available for more Android tablets in the future as well, Hulu added.
Nintendo 3DS gets automatic 3D music videos
Nintendo on Wednesday began giving 3DS owners a promised set of 3D music videos. Anyone who has the Nintendo Video app will start automatically pulling a set of videos that take advantage of the glasses-free display, such as "The Rifle's Spiral" by The Shins. B.O.B. and Wale have videos in the app today, while Skrillex and OK Go are among those in the near-term queue.
In-browser video screen enlarged by 55%
Hulu has revamped its web-based video portal in an attempt to improve the viewing experience. Users will now see a larger video screen when watching directly from the browser, as the player now covers 55 percent more area than the previous layout.
Turns smartphones into remotes for media players
Roku has released an app for Android devices (free, Android Market). With it, users can control one of the company's streaming media players with a smartphone instead of the remote that normally comes with the hub. Roku made a similar app available for iOS devices in December (free, App Store).
Sony Google TV update due Monday, closes root?
While it's currently possible to root Sony's Google TV hardware and load unofficial software onto it, an upcoming update may reverse this exploit, GTVHacker learned. The official, over-the-air security update may be arriving as soon as Monday, and no longer enable the recovery downgrade to be run. Users who root their hardware before this update, won't get it, however, and they can always go back to the stock firmware at a later date.
Comcast tries Internet VOD to fend off rivals
Comcast on Tuesday tried its hand at mitigating the impact of Internet video on traditional TV by launching Streampix. The service will include a mix of movies and TV shows across its own NBCUniversal as well as Disney, Sony, and Warner Bros. Access won't be confined to Comcast's own network and should include mobile and computer access to some content that would normally go through Comcast's traditional video on demand.
Nintendo Wii U may become general-purpose
Nintendo might transform the Wii U into a full media hub if mentions of early discussions are accurate. AdWeek had heard this weekend that Nintendo had been in talks with "several major media companies," including music and sports providers in backroom CES chats last month. The console designer was even said considering a cable TV deal with Comcast, similar to the Xbox 360's live TV.
Software hack opens up Google TV platform
Google TV users can now enable new functionality, such as accessing Flash-based services including Hulu, thanks to a hack. The long-winded GTVHacker Sony Recovery Downgrader & Rebooter was developed by member zenofex and other developers over on the GTV Hacker forum. The hack is entirely software-based, but does require four USB sticks at least 512MB in capacity.
Nintendo now offers Hulu Plus on Wii console
Nintendo has made available the Hulu Plus app for US owners of its Wii home gaming console, as expected, though delayed. While the monthly fee to the subscription-based streaming TV show service will be $8 per month, new users will get a free, two-week trial. The service offers over 16,000 episodes from 400 current and classic TV shows from ABC, Comedy Central, Fox, NBC, MTV, and others.
Amazon hires for own TV shows
Two new job listings have hinted that Amazon will be the next commercial Internet video service to produce some of its own content. Its studio division is hiring for the People's Production Company to create comedies and children's shows. Unlike its counterparts, though, it would be developing for traditional formats as well.
Nielsen says most cord-cutting about cost
New Nielsen data about TV viewing habits has shown that cord-cutters, or those who drop paid TV in favor of Internet viewing, are often decreasing their viewing habits as a whole. Someone who has broadband but only watches traditional TV over the air watches less than half that of a regular cable subscriber, at nearly 123 minutes a day on average instead of 257, but still uses it much more than Internet streaming. These viewers typically saw no more than 11.2 minutes a day of streaming video, which was over double the five minutes of a cable subscriber but far from a direct substitute.
Viacom may expand on-demand content soon
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman hinted in a discussion of fiscal results that his company was about to sign a significant digital content deal. The agreement was cast as for an online, subscription-based video on demand service and could be made public next week, The Hollywood Reporter understood. Which service, and what content, weren't divulged.
Hulu CEO careful not to commit to or deny Apple TV
Hulu chief Jason Kilar used careful language in an interview at the D: Dive Into Media conference when discussing major content deals. He wouldn't confirm or deny any talks to bring Hulu Plus to the Apple TV. The executive was aware it was a potentially loaded question and denied it twice when pressed.
Netflix Q4 2011 buoyed by US, hurt elsewhere
Netflix saw the fuller consequences of its more controversial decisions on Wednesday with results from the fall. The company added more streaming customers than it expected, 220,000, but the "continued impact" of its price hike for those keeping DVDs and streaming led to it shedding 2.76 million disc subscriptions. These, along with the costs of expansion outside of the US, dragged Netflix's profit down 13 percent year over year to $41 million.
Major TiVo Premiere update arrives at last
TiVo posted a much-requested update for its Premiere-series DVRs mid-week that answered a number of complaints while adding upsides of its own. The 20.2 upgrade speeds up the interface to touch on a common lag problem and brings the Grid and Live Guides into HD for the first time. Those who have more than one TiVo now have the luxury of streaming a show recorded on one TiVo to another on the same network instead of having to transfer it completely.
Hulu starts up own online-only TV series
Hulu followed in Netflix's footsteps Sunday by launching its first fictional, original TV series. Battleground covers a fictional political campaign in Wisconsin and is produced by JD Walsh, 500 Days of Summer's Marc Webb, and Hagai Shaham. It should be followed up by more documentaries, including a second season of Morgan Spurlock's A Day in the Life and Richard Linklater's new Up to Speed.
Destination of TV tech remains unclear
Motorola Mobility has reportedly moved to acquire SetJam, a startup that compiles data from a variety of streaming video services. The company offers a "data integrity engine" that indexes TV shows and movie listings from sources such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and iTunes. The system automatically determines the number of specific episodes available from each source.
Citi study shows Netflix stil in comfortable lead
A new Citi Investment Research study from analyst Mike Mahaney points to Netflix still increasing its share of Internet movie and TV viewing. Between May and December, Netflix's share of those watching movies on TV grew from 20 to 27 percent. Most of that came at the expense of Hulu, which was down from 19 percent to 15.
Slot critical to attracting possible investors
Since September, Yahoo has been searching for potential buyers for itself. Although there have been many potential suitors, with no apparent deal close at hand, the company is now refocusing itself on permanently filling the CEO slot, which has been vacant since Carol Bartz was fired abruptly three months ago. All Things D, citing its sources, claims that Yahoo's board is
looking at Hulu's CEO Jason Kilar.
Nielsen shows game console usage numbers, bumps
Streaming and video-on-demand on game consoles has seen a sharp increase over the past year, media researcher Nielsen revealed after performing a study in October. Users now spend 14 percent of their time on the Xbox 360, 15 percent on the PS3, and 33 percent on the Wii watching videos from services such as Netflix, Hulu, MLB Network, and ESPN3.
Hulu brings new Face Match feature to five shows
Hulu has just introduced a new feature for its streaming video service called Face Match. As the name suggests, it will have the ability to identify actors just by their face from clips and return more information about them. The feature requires users to just hover the mouse cursor over a character's face once the Hulu Face Match Engine is turned on.
Netflix and Hulu can use Facebook for video recs
The US Congress late Tuesday passed a modification to a law that would help get over blocks preventing Facebook integration with Hulu and Netflix. A change to the Video Privacy Protection Act backed by Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte would let users share their video habits online. Until now, the law required written consent, criminalizing attempts to share history or other more detailed content.
We try Xbox 360 fall 2011 dashboard early
Microsoft is about to launch its Xbox 360 fall Dashboard update, and we've had the opportunity to use it early on our own system ahead of when it goes live December 6. The update is Microsoft's second major revamp in the Xbox 360's history and is geared around turning the Xbox 360 into a media hub. Read on for hands-on time and why it may be the definitive answer to the Apple TV.
Microsoft outlines launch plans for X360 live TV
In sync with the fall Xbox 360 Dashboard update, Microsoft has provided a listing of TV providers that will be ready to go this week. Along with existing access to ESPN, Hulu, and Netflix, the December 6 update will also bring EPIX authenticated video in the US, Lovefilm in the UK, MediaSet's Premium Play in Italy, Sky Go in Austria and Germany, Telefonica España's Movistar Imagenio, and MSNBC's Today in the US.
VideoSurf bought out by Microsoft for millions
Software giant Microsoft has purchased VideoSurf, a company that developed a way to search for video clips online. The deal is believed to be worth tens of millions of dollars, though the exact number isn't revealed. VideoSurf did raise $28 million from former US President Al Gore, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Verizon Investment Fund, Pitango Venture Capital, Orbotech, founder Hanan Gilutz, and SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg.
Xbox hits 10 years old and gets bonuses
Microsoft kicked off the tenth anniversary of the Xbox with a celebration page and bonuses. Everyone gets access to a free avatar prop for Xbox Live that provides a gift box that opens to reveal fireworks. Some downloadable games will also be on sale as part of the anniversary.
Ooyala shows iPad owners more involved in video
Tablet owners, and more specifically iPad owners, are much more likely to be engrossed in watching video, a new Ooyala study uncovered. On average, they watched one minute and 17 seconds of video for every minute of viewing on the desktop, or more than a quarter of viewer. They were also more than twice as likely to reach the end of a video; only 30 percent of desktop viewers even passed a quarter of the clip.
Hulu Plus coming to Kindle Fire after all
Amazon revealed on Friday that the Kindle Fire will have access to both Hulu Plus and ESPN when it launches, putting it over the Nook Tablet. During the initial app announcement, the movie and TV show streaming service wasn't mentioned, though other premium services such as Netflix and games from EA and Zynga were. This now gives the Fire the edge over the Nook, as Amazon has its own video and music store, while Barnes & Noble doesn't.
Nook Tablet confirmed at event
Barnes & Noble at its special event confirmed the rumored launch of the Nook Tablet. The seven-inch sequel to the Nook Color is now much more of a media tablet with a dual-core processor and a doubled 1GB of RAM. The speed upgrade lets the Android 2.3 device handle 1080p video along with new Hulu Plus and Netflix apps and newer games.
CBS says Apple planned stream TV with shared cash
CBS chief Les Moonves may have inadvertently confirmed Apple's negotiations for a streaming TV service during the company's fiscal results call. He claimed that CBS had turned down a deal for a service because it would have split ad revenues. The executive didn't give details of what the service would have involved.