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Hulu preparing for $300M IPO to hold ground against Netflix and company?

Broadcast content streaming site Hulu may be preparing for an IPO to raise as much as $300 million with Morgan Stanley as the primary underwriter, according to a report from Reuters.

The additional funding could be used to pay for new content sources like deals with broadcast networks. Google and Apple are entering the living room with Google TV and the revamped Apple TV. They’ll both features movie and show rentals. And Netflix is already a heavy-hitter in the streaming video marketplace. So it’s becoming a bit of a crowded market for streaming premium content.

Hulu is a free, ad-supported way for viewers to watch content from several of the largest broadcast networks online. It already streams content from broadcast networks Fox, NBC and ABC, and CBS may soon join the pack based on some comments from the CEO Leslie Moonves last month.

Hulu Plus, announced earlier this year, will offer additional content (such as older shows) in HD to mobile devices, video game consoles and smart TVs as well. Hulu unveiled the premium service in June of this year. Hulu Plus, which will cost users $9.99 a month, is currently in “preview” mode with a limited number of users, and an official launch date for the service has not been released yet.

Hulu was founded in 2007 as a joint venture between News Corp, Disney, NBC Universal and private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. The Reuters report places a $2 billion value on the video streaming service — a value the New York Times had reported earlier in August when more rumors of a Hulu IPO this fall surfaced.