Investing in digital video has so far been a rather simple strategy: either you buy Netflix
That small, elite cadre is getting some company. According to Reuters informants, streaming TV specialist Hulu is planning to go public in 2011, instantly widening your investment options. Making money from online video is hard work -- even leading clip service YouTube is assumed to lose money (incorrectly, in my opinion). The industry needs to find its collective sea legs, and shoving Hulu into the publicly traded waters to see whether it'll sink or swim could go a long way toward accomplishing exactly that.
Current Hulu backers including News Corp
Like so many technological revolutions before it, online video will prove to be a killing ground for the weak and the unprepared, but a massive investment opportunity for the winners and survivors. Netflix went through this cycle already with its old DVD-by-mail service, and it looks quite prepared to win big again. A public Hulu in search of sustainable profits would provide serious competition, thus driving innovation of both business models and the underlying technology to new heights.
Would a transparent and well-funded Hulu kill Netflix, or simply unlock the potential of the two combatants' shared market? Discuss in the comments below.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Apple, Amazon.com, and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Apple. The Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.