As Yahoo attempts to Googlify itself under CEO Marissa Mayer’s leadership, the company is still missing a hot video destination that could compete with YouTube. YouTube, you see, is Google’s avenue to show video advertising. Yahoo has no such avenue at the moment, but according to a report from AllThingsD, that could change.
The site is reporting that Mayer met recently with the executives at TV streaming site Hulu. The site, which is part-owned by Disney, News Corp. and Comcast, currently streams shows from many of the stations falling under the umbrellas of those companies. ABC, NBC and FOX are just a few examples.
Since launching in 2008, Hulu has quickly picked up steam as one of the premiere video sites on the Web, and a lot of that has had to do with the content available to stream. Many network and cable-based shows are available to stream for free on Hulu, and if users are willing to pay $7.99 per month, they can access an even-larger library of shows and movies.
Should Yahoo acquire the site, it would almost certainly push for a multi-year agreement to keep streaming rights in place for Hulu’s TV shows. Hulu without those shows would offer a lot in the way of technology but would not be anywhere near as valuable.
A Hulu acquisition by Yahoo wouldn’t even be the first big video-related splash Yahoo has made recently. The company announced late last month that it had secured exclusive rights to Saturday Night Live’s 38-year back catalog of episodes. Those episodes will be available to stream on Yahoo starting in September.
Video is clearly important to the future of Yahoo and, in particular, to Marissa Mayer. At a Wired Conference earlier today, she had this to say about Yahoo’s future and how video fits into the mix:
“I think video is really important … video is something that we’re all innately designed and born to experience, everyone is born being able to watch and to hear,” she said. “Video is just this amazing format.”
I think it’s safe to say that this Yahoo/Hulu rumor has legs. We’ll keep our ears to the ground and let you know if we hear anything else about it.