Time Warner gets stake in Hulu: Will it take on Amazon, Netflix?

Time Warner is reportedly the newest company to take a stake in the streaming service Hulu. Hulu is the home of original series such as 'Casual' and 'The Mindy Project' as well as offering episodes of network and cable TV shows.

Jordin Althaus/Fox
'The Mindy Project' stars Mindy Kaling (l.) and Chris Messina (r.).

Time Warner is the latest company that can claim a stake in Hulu as the streaming service continues to battle against streaming rivals such as Amazon and Netflix.

Time Warner, which is also behind such well-known TV entertainment properties as HBO and the CW, now has a 10 percent stake in the company that produces such programs as “Casual,” “Difficult People,” and “The Mindy Project.” 

Other companies that are involved with Hulu are Disney and 21st Century Fox. 

According to The New York Times, the deal is an important one for Hulu. Hulu was “facing rapidly mounting losses approaching $500 million” every year, BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield told the the Times. 

Hulu will be attempting a live-streaming option and programming from Time Warner-owned networks like TBS and TNT will be options for that. 

Time Warner has been competing to make its mark with streaming services. By making Time Warner programming available on Hulu simply ensures that the most viewers can watch Time Warner shows, said Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Harrigan to Reuters.

“They want to ensure that the Turner networks have the broadest possible distribution without really compromising the traditional cable, satellite and telco channels,” Mr. Harrigan said.

Time Warner’s HBO has options such as HBO Go and HBO Now for those who want to check out the network’s offerings away from a traditional TV. HBO Now does not require viewers to have a cable TV subscription.

Hulu’s original programming has been the subject of critical acclaim, with the program "Casual," which debuted in 2015, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for best TV series – comedy or musical. Hulu’s new TV show "The Path" has also been the subject of good reviews, with both Indiewire and Paste Magazine singling out "The Path" as some of the best TV to be released in 2016 so far. 

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