Some 10 months after CEO Jason Kilar stepped down, Hulu is finally getting ready to tap a new head honcho, according to reports. Interim CEO Andy Forssell is out, and Fox executive Mike Hopkins is in.
At Fox, Hopkins was president of distribution, which means he knows how to negotiate with media companies.
The announcement is expected to be made soon, but as of yet, no word on what will happen to Andy Forssell, who happens to be the last remaining executive from Hulu’s original team. After Jason Kilar left the company in January, Hulu executives began emigrating from the company en masse. Earlier this month, Hulu’s sales chief JP Colaco was the latest to take his exit.
Forssell has been running the company for nearly a year, but Hulu’s soulless big media owners—Comcast, Disney and News Corp.—obviously wanted someone with more Pay-TV negotiating skills.
After putting Hulu on the market and receiving some dissatisfying offers, Hulu’s owners decided to cancel the sale (again) in July and invest $750 million into the company. DirecTV was rumored to be the strongest bidder after submitting an offer of $1 billion. Other parties rumored to be interested in buying Hulu included Yahoo, which was reportedly offering a bid of $600-$800 million, and Time Warner.
Since then, Hulu has signed a content deal with BBC to add 144 titles to its catalogue and has integrated with Google’s Chromecast. In 2012, the company generated $700 million in revenue. In a departure email circulated to all Hulu employees on Thursday, Forssell said the company is on track to generate $1 billion this year, according to AllThingsD.
Additionally, Hulu is ramping up its original programming roster, releasing 20 new titles this year. Forssell said back in July that that number would increase to 40 within the next two years.
That’s going to take quite a bit of cash. Hulu may need to find an additional revenue stream, according to Needham & Co analyst Laura Martin.
“It raises the question of whether advertising-driven streaming services will ever be successful without the support of subscription revenue,” said Martin.
While Hulu reached record-breaking revenues of $690 million in 2012, the company still has yet to become profitable. Premium subscription service Hulu Plus, launched in 2010, now has over four million subscribers. The basic site sees over 30 million unique visitors a month.
Image source: kcrw.com