Coming off its best quarter ever, and sitting on a $76.2 billion pile of cash, Apple is reportedly eyeing new properties to purchase. Bloomberg cites anonymous sources who state that Apple might make an offer for Hulu, the popular internet site that streams TV shows and movies, which has been valued at around $2 billion. While this acquisition would be unusual for Apple, which usually builds its own products, it might help Steve Jobs and Co. compete with Netflix, which recently angered its customers with unexpected price hikes. Would buying Hulu be a good move for Apple?
Hulu holds little value for Apple: All of Apple's web and software offerings "have one objective: Sell Apple hardware," says Jake Thompson at International Business Times. "It's unlikely that Hulu would have any sort of halo effect on the rest of the company's products." Without that, Hulu would only serve as an "isolated service," and any money it brought in would be "pocket change" in the Apple money bin. "Hulu will not be joining the Apple orchard."
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But Apple could take Hulu to the next level: At a time when Apple is looking to spend, Hulu "is a company in flux," says Adrian Covert at Gizmodo. Hulu has struggled with its streaming-reliant platform, and has scrambled to sign content-distribution deals with TV networks. Apple, however, has the "silver tongue and muscle to get what they want out of content companies." Indeed, "in Apple's hands, Hulu could become the end all, be all destination for streaming content."
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And Hulu would strengthen Apple ahead, too: Through its iTunes media store, Apple "has been offering television shows and movies for years," says Nicholas Jackson at The Atlantic, but the Cupertino company still isn't considered one of the big shots in streaming media. That would change if Apple gobbled up Hulu, since "it would position the company for enormous growth in a market where the infrastructure is already in place." Think about it: "Hulu's content combined with the iTunes subscription model would create a serious competitor to Netflix."
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