Hulu’s owners are reportedly mulling a number of changes to its content agreements and are also said to have started discussing a transition plan should CEO Jason Kilar decide to step down.
According to a Variety report (registration required) citing a leaked internal Hulu memo, the firm is gearing up for a number of changes should one of its four owners, Providence Equity Partners, cash out its 10% stake in the business later this year.
The move, which has been subject to speculation since April, would reportedly pave the way for other Hulu executives with a stake in the business to cash-in their shares. Variety claims Kilar owns and estimated 5% of the business and could personally stand to make US$100m, which could see him step down. Hulu’s senior VP of content Andy Forssell and VP of advertising Jean Paul Colaco are also said to own stakes in the firm.
While the CEO question was reportedly the top point listed on the memo, the consolidated power base of NBCUniversal, Fox Entertainment Group and Disney-ABC Television Group could also see changes to the way Hulu deals with its content.
According to the Variety, the document outlined amendments including no more exclusivity for current-season content – opening up the possibility for Hulu’s owners to do independent deals with the likes of YouTube.
ABC.com and Fox.com would also be able to hold back certain content to differentiate their own sites from Hulu. Fox also reportedly wants to increase the ads shown on the site, while distribution rights for Hulu to syndicate its content to third-party sites will revert to Disney and News Corp.
The memo also claimed that News Corp wants to limit Hulu’s overseas investement to US$30m, while Disney would like a “less ambitious product which requires less capital investment.”
Hulu declined to comment. The US service is currently also available in Japan, but no other foreign markets, though the document reportedly said it was open to exploring the possibility of launching in Australia.
Kilar is due to deliver a keynote speech at Mipcom in Cannes in October.