Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Hulu's Jason Kilar Talks About Plus, IPO, Renovations and More!

This week on BoomTown’s grand summer tour of digital Los Angeles, I popped into the Santa Monica, Calif., offices of Hulu, the premium online video distributor that has been one of the few big and innovative hits for Hollywood in the digital sector.

As it turned out, Hulu was in the midst of renovations to its HQ, even as it tinkers with its longtime advertising-supported business model.

Just last week, in fact, the company unveiled its long-expected subscription offering, called Hulu Plus, which will offer users more access, devices, features and content for $9.99 a month.

Thus, it was a good time to get up into the ever-smiling grill of CEO Jason Kilar to talk about a wide range of subjects, from the new Hulu Plus to dealing with the company’s media-giant owners to his own commitment to building the service (Kilar has one year left on his contract) to a possible IPO scenario.

Of course, persuading Wall Street investors to buy in to Hulu could be a very tough sell, no matter what the financials look like.

That’s because Hulu is completely dependent on the participation of its three network owners–News Corp. (NWS), Disney (DIS) and especially NBC Universal, since it is soon to be owned by Comcast (CMCSA)–who have signed on to the joint venture for only a limited time. If any one of them decides to leave, the whole thing gets a lot less valuable.

But for now, Kilar’s main task, as he notes in this video interview, is to focus on providing the best consumer experience possible, especially with current season television episodes from the most popular shows, Hulu’s most entertaining bread and butter.

Here’s the video:


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”