Online Video web site Hulu quietly pulled the plug on its planned IPO this week. The company had hoped to use the money raised by selling stock to buy more rights to content that it could put up on its platform.
Now it has shifted its attention to other forms of fund raising, including new subscription plans that would have viewers directly pay for content. It may also ask it’s investors to put in more money.
The harsh reality is that Hulu has had to face up to the fact that it doesn’t actually own any of its content and being only a distributor, especially on an internet-based platform, isn’t enough any more. Without long term ownership of content, investors have become skittish. In the new digital media world Content once again becomes king. With so many distribution platforms floating around, content providers have everything to gain by being on as many effective channels as possible. It’s hard to know which platforms will emerge as dominant ones as newer and newer technology is introduced into the marketplace, so most content creators will likely do what they can to deliver that content to a consumer every possible way the consumer wants it.
That doesn’t bode well for the businesses that do little more than aggregate.