Disney Content Headed to Hulu, Clips to YouTube30 Mar, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
The Walt Disney Co. is reportedly in negotiations to acquire a stake in Hulu, the digital streaming site co-owned by News Corp. and NBC Universal.
Initially announced March 27 by PaidContent.com, the move would be consistent with CEO Bob Iger’s stated desire to expand digital distribution of Disney content, including ABC TV programming such as “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost” and “Private Practice,” among others.
Hulu continues to increase its exposure via pricey national TV campaigns starring Alec Baldwin and, most recently, Seth McFarlane, creator of “Family Guy.”
Through February, Hulu recorded a 32.8% rise in overall streams and 41.6% surge in unique viewers from January, according to comScore. Minutes per viewer dropped 18.4% to 64.5 from 79 minutes.
Disney since 2006 has repurposed TV programming on Apple’s iTunes Store and ABC.com.
Separately, Disney signed a deal with Google Inc. to deliver ad-supported video clips from ABC and ESPN to social video site YouTube. The agreement, which includes a revenue sharing deal, does not comprise full-length programming and movies.
Disney, in a statement, expressly denied the deal would include full-length programming. A legitimate stand considering it reportedly received $6.8 billion in subscriber fees from cable and satellite operators for repurposed and original content in the fiscal year ended Sept. 27, 2008.
Representatives from Disney and Hulu were not immediately available for comment.