Hulu Reportedly Seeking $200 Million to Grow
Revenue is up, but CEO Jason Kilar might need a renewed commitment from parent companies.
Hulu has asked parents Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp. and News Corp. for $200 million to fund programming purchases and overseas expansion, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The request comes after CEO Jason Kilar revealed in a blog post earlier this week that the company's revenue had surged 65 percent in 2012 to $695 million.
But the increased revenue, bolstered by a doubling of Hulu Plus subscriptions in the past year, still retains questions about the company's profitability. Kilar says that Hulu spent $500 million in content in 2012 amid tough competition with Netflix and Amazon's streaming services. In its own fiscal earnings, Disney said that Hulu had sustained losses "driven by increased programming and marketing costs, partially offset by higher advertising and subscription revenues."
The reported $200 million request is twice the contribution made by the parent companies.
News Corp. and Disney are said to have differences in Hulu's strategic vision with News Corp. favoring a subscription approach while Disney pushes a free ad-supported model. Disney has recently bolstered Hulu's competition with a film licensing deal that gives Netflix access to older titles soon and newer titles -- including Marvel and Pixar movies --in 2016.
Hulu has begun to invest in original programming including the political comedy, Battleground, and Morgan Spurlock's documentary series, A Day in the Life. The company also launched Hulu Kids in the past year and signed agreements with CBS and WWE.