Hulu is preparing for an IPO that could value the three-year-old commercial video site at more than $2 billion (€1.5 billion).
Hulu executives have held talks with investment banks about possibly going public later this year, the New York Times reports.
A successful listing in the current cool market environment would be a major marker in the evolution on online video.
Hulu was founded by US media heavyweights including News Corp, Disney and NBC, as a commercial alternative to YouTube and other free video sites.
With programs such as Family Guy and 30 Rock, it has an 18% share of the US online video market by minutes viewed, according to comScore.
But like YouTube, which has 32% of the view minutes and 80% of the viewers, it does not appear to be making a profit, despite fast growth. It reported more than $100 million in revenue in 2009 and this year topped that by around June, the Times said.
The site primarily earns revenue from ad sales, topping comScore’s table of video ads served and viewed. But it has also launched a $9.99 per month subscription service.
As well as YouTube, Hulu faces competition from the well-established Netflix and possibly an upgraded Apple TV.
It is not a good season for IPOs, however. Philips chip arm, NXP, was forced to trim its offering in early August.
That hasn’t deterred Skype, though, which last week filed for an IPO that could net it €76 million