After years of general silence on the technology front when it comes to IPOs (Initial Public Offering) in the stock market, it seems that the companies are coming back with a vengeance. Just this month we have heard of Demand Media and Skype preparing IPOs, and now word comes from The New York Times that online video site Hulu may be doing the same.
Hulu seems like an odd fit for an IPO as it is jointly owned by the NBC, Fox and ABC television networks — as well as Providence Equity Partners — so considering the companies behind it, it seems odd they would want to treat this as a totally separate entity and offer stock in it, but that appears to be the plan according to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper. While the plans only seem to remain in the stage where Hulu is speaking with investment banks, it is said that the offering might be as early as this fall.
This is also coming at an odd time for the site as due to the change in the way ComScore tracks Web traffic, Hulu dropped from 43.5 million visitors a month to 24 million this past June. This has lead to a lot of questions over just how successful the site is, and if it is sustainable to make enough profit to please all of its partners. Hulu reportedly had revenue of $100 million last year, but reported it was on track to make that in the first half of 2010.
The even bigger question mark now is how Hulu Plus, the subscription service for the site that is currently in invitation-only mode, will impact the company’s revenue. Some critics have said it is unlikely to succeed because people will have to pay $9.99 a month on top of their cable bills, but we personally see it as yet another nail in the coffin of traditional cable.
Whatever the case may be, it feels like we are making a slow move back to the days of tech company IPOs, lets just hope it goes better than last time, you know, around the late 90’s?
What say you? Would you be interested in Hulu stock?