LAS VEGAS—With a “nice running start” of 11 years in the streaming video wars, Hulu is beta testing an attribution offering to correlate advertising exposures to advertisers’ business outcomes. Hulu announced the offering at CES 2019 as it revealed a subscriber base of 25 million, representing “pretty dramatic growth” of eight million year-over-year, SVP of Advertising Sales Peter Naylor says in this interview with Beet.TV.
Meanwhile, advertising sales rose to just under $1.5 billion from $1 billion. “We’re getting TV’s largest advertisers,” says Naylor, while direct-to-consumer brand revenue grew 86% “and we’re super serving them with some new tools.”
Foremost in that expanding toolkit is an attribution offering from the company owned by Comcast, Fox and Disney plus an ad format that would appear when Hulu viewers pause what they’re watching.
Hulu will develop customized attribution deals depending on the types of customer-relationship data its advertisers can share—information can be matched with customer behavior metrics from Hulu, as Variety reports.
“We can elegantly put our census level data with their census level data” resulting in a “census-to-census marriage of the data to show that an exposure resulted in a sale,” says Naylor.
Working with Telaria, Hulu is enhancing its programmatic private marketplace for ad inventory so that “we can put people in a biddable environment for the most coveted segments.” It’s a closed market because “we’re very protective” to avoid “category collision with our advertisers” and to be able to fully vet the ad creative, Naylor adds.
“Happily, the majority of people choose the advertising-supported Hulu but that doesn’t mean we can just feel free to just jam ads at them. If anything, we have to be as respectful as possible because they’re one click away from going to the commercial-free Hulu.” While the company is “conventional TV with conventional breaks,” it welcomes ads of any duration plus interactive units, working with partners like BrightLine and Innovid.
The “latest kid on the block” that Hulu is beta testing is “a pause ad.” When viewers hit the pause button “we’re going to serve up a little image” but not a display or video ad. “Imagine a Coke can with language like ‘the pause that refreshes.’”
The goal is to exploit the opportunity of “knowing situationally what viewers are up to with kind of a respectful ad execution. It’s an experiment that we can take because of who we are,” Naylor says.
This video is part of Beet.TV coverage of CES 2019. The series is sponsored by NBCUniversal. For more coverage, please visit this page.