Amid the seemingly unending competitive jostling among its constituent owners, Hulu has kept its focus on one thing: giving advertisers and viewers as many choices as possible. Having rolled out interactive ad units earlier this year that enabled viewers to buy movie tickets with their television remote control, “We’re continuing to push more of that out across some other categories. That’s a really interesting emerging space,” says Julie DeTraglia, who is VP and Head of Research at the streaming subscription service.

Hulu sees it as the logical extension of what consumers have grown accustomed to on various digital devices like desktop computers and phones—being able to discover product attributes via interactivity, for which it partners with Brightline.

“That’s a little bit more nascent in the living room, but I think it’s just as interesting to consumers to be able to see something and rather than have to go to some other device and find it they can get more information about it right through the living room screen,” DeTraglia says in this interview with Beet.TV. “So far we’ve found the marketplace is really I think sort of excited by it because it offers them the opportunity to utilize it in a variety of ways.”

Interactivity is not just about being able to buy tickets but also about “being able to offer other information about the product right within the ad unit, and we find that people stay in the ad unit longer because there’s other stuff for them to do.”

Hulu considers consumer choice to be “purposeful viewing,” which “tends to have a halo effect on the overall experience.” Advertisers benefit as well, according to DeTraglia.

“When you ad choice and interactivity to all of that, what you get is lifts across all key branding metrics” compared to linear TV, she says.

Not being locked into specific timing of ad pods allows Hulu to accommodate “whatever it is the advertiser wants to put in front of us. And we can sequence them in various ways.”

DeTraglia cites experiments with storytelling within ads, which “tends to work very well because it keeps users engaged with that messaging in the advertising as they’re engaged in the storyline of the program that they’re watching.”

Like other premium video providers, Hulu can match first- and third-party marketer data to its subscriber base. “Obviously we have a really deep understanding of viewing behaviors, so that allows us to target by daypart, by geo, by genre.”

This segment is from a Beet.TV series series, “It’s an OTT World” presented by BrightLine.   Please visit this page for additional videos

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