PALM SPRINGS, Calif – With the demand for digital transparency and brand safety only getting stronger, Hulu is taking a “very direct” approach to making its inventory available to advertisers via programmatic transactions. “We’re writing our own rules for our own game when it comes to automation and programmatic,” says SVP of Advertising Sales Peter Naylor.
That means being “more conservative than aggressive” because of issues like brand safety and being sure that the ads that show up in Hulu’s environment are appropriate for our environment, Naylor says in this interview with Beet.TV at the Annual Leadership Conference of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. At this year’s event, brand safety was once again front-and-center.
“You’re never going to see our inventory in an open marketplace where anybody can bid on it,” Naylor says. “So far, the advertisers who are willing to engage with how we want to engage and keep them out of harm’s way, keep ourselves out of harm’s way, seems to be working.”
Like many Leadership Conference attendees, Naylor refers to the strident comments from Unilever Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Keith Weed about how some digital platforms—particularly social media—need to clean up their content act.
“He threaded the needle by saying brands need to be marketing in trusted environment,” Naylor says. “It’s not about trust alone but it’s about reputation and brand safety is also budget safety. People are concerned where they spend their money, the company they keep.”
It’s a discussion that will continue to evolve “and you’re going to continue to see the adtech world play a role,” led by the IAB’s Ads.txt initiative, the Trustworthy Accountability Group and the Media Rating Council.
Another big topic of discussion at the Leadership Conference was so-called direct brands, companies that have bypassed traditional supply and distribution channels to form direct relationships with customers. Naylor says the trend is a “wonderful way to reduce friction and increase a relationship” that is two-way as opposed to one-way in nature.
“Hulu resembles what we’re talking about. We have a direct relationship with million and millions of viewers who give us their time as well as subscription revenue,” says Naylor.
Direct brands stand to gain in the modern television and video world because of more precise consumer-targeting opportunities. “The old TV, a lot of people just can’t afford to advertise in the biggest sports or entertainment vehicles. But they can absolutely advertise and market with precision and targeting in the new game, the new arena. That’s enabling them to continue their growth.”
According to Naylor, the majority of Hulu viewers choose the ad-supported model.
This video is part of a series covering the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. The series is sponsored by AppNexus. Please visit this page for more coverage.