Last week, Hulu was in the news for getting sued by sound-alike company Lulu. Today, the NBC/News Corp video venture is reported to have purchased Chinese video startup Mojiti for $10 million. If the rumor is true, this would be Hulu’s first acquisition, and it hasn’t even launched yet. From Michael Arrington at TechCrunch:
The deal may have originally leaked via an overheard airport conversation as the Mojiti execs flew back to Asia after meetings with Hulu in the U.S. Neither company has officially confirmed the deal. Rumored price is in the $10 million range.
It is surprising that Hulu would use a third party platform for their service rather than build it themselves from the ground up. They’ve already missed their promised Summer 2007 launch date, however, and probably think the acquisition will get them to market faster.
Considering the big dollars invested in Hulu, I don’t think this necessarily means Hulu will be using Mojiti’s platform but rather wonder if the international acquisition signals an attempt to curb or discourage international piracy by promoting embeddable Hulu video instead. Mojiti allows users to “annotate your video by adding your own Mojiti Spots at any moment, anywhere on the video,” so does this also mean Hulu will encourage mashups? Guess we’ll have to wait until the launch in October to see.