People have been debating the value of YouTube for years. Some predicted Google wasted billions on something that could never make money. If recent rumours are true, the naysayers may soon be eating their words. The search-engine behemoth has apparently stepped up its efforts to deliver an alternative to cable television. The company is competing against Amazon, Yahoo and Dish Network to acquire Hulu, the online video site owned by Walt Disney, News Corp. and NBC Universal. Google’s initial offer far surpassed those of the other bidders, according to AllThingsD, a technology news website. This could be part of Google’s strategy for acquiring original video content to upload to YouTube, speculated Business Insider, a business blog, which also quoted two anonymous industry sources saying the tech giant is spending as much as $500 million shopping around for premium titles to boost its online video offering. Google also recently bought Motorola Mobility Holdings, which, among other things, makes cable set-top boxes, devices that allow users to access the Web via TV sets.
It’s all proof that the technology giant is gearing up to battle rivals like Netflix and Apple in the race to reinvent television. Its most formidable weapon, industry watchers agree, is YouTube’s unrivalled popularity.