Bloomberg is reporting that Hulu is close to naming Mike Hopkins as its new CEO, replacing Andy Forssell. The hire, if confirmed, would mark Hulu's third leadership change this year. In March, Forssell took over for Jason Kilar.
In the interim, Hulu's controlling investors -- 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) and Walt Disney -- have injected $750 million in fresh capital into the business in hopes of a turnaround.
Hopkins is a logical choice for righting the ship, seeing that he's already a board member and president of Fox's TV distribution operation, which, according to Bloomberg, gives him experience negotiating with pay-TV services for the sorts of fees Hulu might seek as a full-scale producer of original shows. Fox's cable network programming brought in $10.9 billion in revenue in the most current fiscal year, according to S&P Capital IQ.
1. Dump the ads on premium content. Or at least some of the ads. Having them there makes it more difficult to differentiate Hulu from other network streaming services, or even live TV. Netflix wins because it dares to be different. Don't be afraid to follow suit.
2. Partner up for originals. Scale up. TV shows take time to produce, of course, but you've several partners with expertise (and funding!) for developing shows. Strike deals that not only get more originals on the air, but which allow you to market your programming across your partners' various networks: ABC, NBC, and Fox.
3. Find a niche. Hulu is too much of everything. Why not develop a niche? Look at what AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) has achieved funding, producing, and distributing dark content. Not only does it fit nicely with AMC's past as a destination for suspense and horror, but it helps the network stand apart when creators are shopping new projects. More than 60 new shows are in development right now, including spinoffs of hit programs The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.
Think I'm wrong? Have a better idea? Tell us about it in the comments box below.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Netflix and Walt Disney at the time of publication. He was also long Jan. 2014 $50 Netflix call options at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
The Motley Fool recommends AMC Networks, Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.