Hulu, as far as I'm concerned, is in trouble. Their Hulu Plus service, which costs $7.99, is overpriced and still shows a ridiculous amount of ads and a limited amount of content. Their partners (and part-owners) like NBCU are making content deals outside of the family (most recently with NetFlix over next-day SNL streaming) and it seems they pushed their IPO plans to next year after stating quite clearly it was very possible this year. With all that though, comes change.

What sort of change? Well the IPO has slid squarely into 2011 or perhaps beyond if they don't prove their business plan can succeed. CEO Jason Kilar said they'll bring in about $240 million in ad revenue. Of course when you show 50 ads per user, that's almost a given. That is over twice what they pulled in on ads last year ($108M), they're also showing twice as many ads or more now.

Now Hulu says they are looking to broaden their horizons and expand intoHulu's Domestic Disputes Leading to International Expansion? jason kilar  ceo of hulu10344 e1289811910684 the international market. Which market? Well, they're mum on that bit yet. If I had to take a stab at it, I would guess Canada, the UK and Australia will be first, no localization really required there. Plus, NetFlix just stepped over the border into Canada, so it seems like the Granite Shield could heat up with an online video war. The streets will run brown with syrup, eh! (you know, like red with blood? syrup comes from maple...) Oh, Jason Kilar did say that Japan was an option as well.

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Anyway, The Wall Street Journal, who has some charmed access to Hulu I imagine since NewsCorp owns WSJ and a stake in Hulu is reporting on the international flavor or Hulu's future. I'm really just here to poke fun and inform (at Hulu not WSJ, they do great work).

In regards to Hulu Plus and ads, Kilar said ads are there to stay in order to subsidize the subscription. Hey, I think your partners are ripping you off man! If you are pulling in $240M in ad rev and still need to show ads to people who pay for your service, you're paying way too much for your content methinks!

The WSJ also talked to Mr. Kilar about the IPO to wit he said, "We are fortunate to have a lot of options in front of us." Lots of options... dissolution, bankruptcy, acquisition (by NetFlix of course).

Seriously, with $240M in ad revenue it seems like they have enough capital to continue operations. I still think they need to take a look at NetFlix and find out what makes them so successful (also $7.99 for streaming only, but with a far wider selection of content).

Finally, I just wish someone would offer shows in English out here in the rest of the world for a reasonable price. It would really make life much easier on us, the 6.6M plus Americans living abroad as well as everyone else who wants the shows in original form. Hell, I might even be willing to pay $5 and watch ads now that says something.

  • Aaron Booker

    My family and I are living in Mexico for a couple of years so that our young children can learn some Spanish... That part is going super well! OTOH, my wife and I are missing Hulu and Netflix a lot. I'm starting to consider bittorrent which is a bummer. Expats would love to pay $10/mo for Netflix or HuluPplus. I'm typing on an iPad so I'm bummed to read that the VPN solution won't work for Hulu Plus. That was on my roadmap for the Christmas break...

  • Giulio Carlo Vaiarello

    The most crappy thing is at they don't accept- even in an unofficial mode (for example as they do with the free version of hulu with VPNs) non-US plus users..
    I mean, I can understand at they do not authorize non-US Credit Cards, but they could at least take PayPal (even with territorial restrictions - wich could be bypassed by registering an US paypal account without credit card and tranfering money from an other account.. ) as Netflix do..
    Then it would be possible for us, shitty poor european users , to sign up with a VPN even if in an unofficialy way ...
    And that have nothing to do with the trasmission rights because we will violate them anyway, and they could by the way make some money on that...
    And we really do: for example I'm using a Cisco Linksys E3000 with DD-WRT and an US-based VPN ,and everything works, so I 'will use thems bandwith even if they allow me or not so they could btw have a revenue on it and not only a bandwith dispend...
    Basic hulu with only 480p really sucks and plus it would have been fantastic to watch Fringe,Bones,and all the other tv-series on the iPad and iPhone 4 (with mine dd-wrt ruoter it would be possible as all my home devices have now an US ip...)
    I've tried the Hulu app in demo mode on the iPad and it is simply.... amazing..
    I'm really envy on all you US users..

    Ps: Norwegian TV,Europe and European services sucks (apart spotify) , hope i can move to NYC soon...

    • Christophor Rick

      I'm feeling the Euro-hate from Hulu Guilio, I'm in the Czech Republic and have to live an alternative TV lifestyle in order to get access to TV from home (been living here 6 years but am American). Watching shows like The Big Bang in Czech...just isn't the same.