Though there’s dozens if not hundreds of streaming services and channels out there, it really all comes back down to the key four players in that market – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and iTunes.
One of the most prominent has been Hulu, a streaming giant that has been a rival to Netflix because it has been able to offer things that service cannot – namely current seasons of TV series from various major networks (both free to air and cable), and a strongly curated film collection which includes the prestigious Criterion library.
Now it looks like it might lose the first (and easily biggest) of those advantages. The Wall Street Journal (via Polygon) reports that Time Warner is reportedly looking to buy 25% of Hulu’s stock in an attempt to prevent the service from being able to stream current seasons of network and premium television.
The move is being done because the company is concerned that having access to next-day streaming will accelerate cord-cutting around the country, something that has become much more viable thanks to the various streaming services and devices like the Roku or Apple TV.
However, the report also indicates that it is not a condition for its investment and even if they do purchase that equity share, they may not force Hulu to get rid of next-day streaming.
Hulu currently offers ten million subscribers, nothing compared to the 75 million subscribers to Netflix, and the service has yet to really generate a strong slate of its own original programming despite some attempts in recent years. Its event series “11/22/63” premiering next week and, along with the upcoming “The Path,” is being seen as a major push into that field.