Big changes could be coming to video streaming service Hulu in the near future according to a leaked confidential memo that found its way to Variety. The three-page memo, dated in July, suggests that CEO Jason Kilar could be preparing to leave the company while other bullet points highlight potential service and ownership changes.
The memo doesn’t specifically say that Kilar is out but perhaps instead reflect plans that would come to reality should he leave based on other actions. A management buyout of Providence Equity Partners, one of Hulu’s three large owners, is expected to close in September which could trigger two possible developments described by the publication as “game changers.”
The buyout could allow any Hulu executive with a large number of vested shares to cash out. According to a source familiar with the subject, this could result in a payday for Kilar of roughly $100 million. Of course, it’s all speculation at this point as there hasn’t been a search committee hired to find a replacement nor have any potential candidates been approached.
Second, Providence’s exit could result in a number of changes with regards to content licensing agreements, Hulu’s key asset. This could potentially be more disastrous for the site and its members as it could include eliminating content exclusivity, reducing international reach, adding more commercials and getting rid of current-season exclusivity. The latter would mean that Disney and News Corp. could license programming to other third-party companies like YouTube, effectively watering down Hulu’s competitive advantage.
It’s important to point out that the Providence management buyout isn’t finalized at this point but all expectations suggest it will close next month.
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