We first reported on Google making a Hulu bid back in July, and speculated on those possibilities as far back as June. While the exact details of Google’s bid haven’t been released, the Wall Street Journal has indicated that Google is officially part of the bidding war that will close this week. Final bids are due in by Wednesday.
At that time we’ll see how the landscape will change. Potential bidders include Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and DirectTV, and other companies – including Microsoft and Apple – have been pegged as potential silent bidders. Should a search engine or display ad group take Hulu, it may change the landscape dramatically.
Yahoo is seen as the most likely candidate; they started the bidding when they went to Hulu (currently owned by Comcast, NewsCorp, and Disney) and made an unsolicited bid. Since that time, Hulu has opened the floor to any potential buyers. It’s expected that the bids will range from $500 million to $2 billion (U.S.), depending on what licensing deals come alongside the website purchase.
For Google, the licensing is the biggest selling point; it would allow them to push YouTube further along and would give them an additional video-based revenue source to boot. Yahoo, however, focuses on entertainment and TV news and would thus be an intuitive buyer. As a top display ad company, Yahoo also has a lot to gain from the additional high-visibility web space. For anyone advertising on YouTube or Hulu, or through Yahoo, this is a deal to pay attention to.