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商业 - 科技

苹果意欲牵手Hulu,个性差异恐成障碍

Dan Mitchell 2011年07月26日

苹果收购Hulu想来很有意思:苹果财大气粗,这点钱不过是九牛一毛;但Hulu的战略与苹果恐怕大相径庭。

图片来源:维基百科

    似乎可以保险地假设,苹果(Apple)现在属意Hulu,主要是为了看看这家可能被其竞争对手收购的公司的账目。苹果最终恐怕不会收购这家视频流媒体公司。

    不过这是一个很有趣的想法。苹果想在网络视频领域占据一席之地,它之前曾试图复制在音乐领域的成功,不过其努力基本白费。此外,Hulu还能使苹果顺利跻身另一个它表现不佳的领域:在线广告。

    彭博新闻(Bloomberg News)上周四晚间报道称,苹果正在“考虑”出价竞购Hulu,后者已引起雅虎(Yahoo)、亚马逊(Amazon)、美国电话电报公司(AT&T)等公司的兴趣。

    科技商业新闻网站GigaOM的莱恩•罗勒列举了数条充分的理由,论证苹果似乎不可能收购Hulu。他表示,苹果“可能难以接受一个以自有品牌运营、无法与公司其它产品紧密融合的独立子公司”。他说的没错,唯一的例外是苹果最终放弃以自身形象重塑Hulu品牌,不过苹果肯定会这样做。

    不过,罗勒指出,主要问题在于“Hulu什么都想做”,而“苹果想要控制自己的生态系统”。那么,比如说苹果是否会允许Hulu在谷歌(Google)Android设备上使用?这对苹果而言肯定是非常之举,但这并非不可能。一旦它成为苹果的一部分,Hulu“想要”什么将无关紧要。不过,要使Hulu与苹果大相径庭的战略相互调和将是项大工程。

    不过苹果但试无妨。毕竟此举风险不大。报道所称Hulu的最高估价不过20亿美元(尽管彭博报道称,Hulu的价格“可能超过”这个数字),如此看来,此项收购的价格尚不足苹果高达760亿美元的现金储备的3%。

    而且一旦收购Hulu,苹果将立即在在线视频领域占据一席之地,有权在两年时间里独家播放一些世界上最大媒体公司提供的内容。

    译者:项航

    It seems safe to assume that Apple is kicking Hulu's tires mainly so it can get a look at the books of a company that will likely be purchased by a competitor. Apple (AAPL) will probably not

    It's an intriguing notion, however. Apple wants to be a major player in Internet video, where most of its efforts to replicate its success with music have fallen short. Hulu would also enable Apple to put itself squarely into another where it has faltered: online advertising.

    Bloomberg News reported late Thursday that Apple is "considering" making a bid for Hulu, which has already attracted interest from Yahoo (YHOO), Amazon (AMZN), AT&T (T) and others.

    GigaOM's Ryan Lawler lists several good reasons that an acquisition seems unlikely. Apple "might have a problem with an independent subsidiary that operates under its own brand name and isn't tightly integrated with the rest of its products," he says. Which is true, but only if Apple doesn't eventually rebrand Hulu in its own image, which it eventually would.

    But the main thing, Lawler points out, is that "Hulu wants to be everywhere" while "Apple wants to control its own ecosystem." So, would Apple make Hulu available for Android (GOOG) devices, for example? That would certainly be an unusual move for Apple, but it's not out of the question. What Hulu "wants" would be irrelevant once it's part of Apple. Still, reconciling Hulu's and Apple's disparate strategies would be a pretty big undertaking.

    It might be worth it for Apple just to try. There's not much risk involved, after all. At $2 billion, Hulu's highest reported valuation (though Bloomberg reports that Hulu's price "could exceed" that figure), an acquisition would deplete Apple's enormous cash reserve of $76 billion by less than 3%.

    And for that, Apple would instantly become a force in online video, with rights to stream content – for two years, exclusively -- from some of the biggest media companies in the world.

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