PHOENIX — Advertisers want choice, control and freedom to buy using automated technology platforms – but that doesn’t mean Hulu is going to let just anyone purchase its ad space.

The online TV provider last month announced it made $1.5 billion in ad revenue last year, a rise of 45%, increasing it advertiser base by 50%.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Doug Fleming, Hulu head of advanced TV, says that the company aims to put programmatic, automated sales methods “on equal footing” with ads sold directly by its human staff.

“When we look at the landscape, you can see this march towards automation,” Fleming says. “We’re not going to get in the way of that. We’re going to embrace that.

“We now have enough inventory and enough access that we have decided to create a team under me to go out and affect those agency trading desks and those folks that have decided to bring programmatic buying in-house.”

Hulu uses Telaria’s VMP (Video Management Platform) – which supports decisioning, demand delivery and analytics – to measure and manage its ad monetization. Prior to that, the TV service used Live Rail.

Both vendors offer technology to help the sale of ad space using automated systems.

But Fleming’s Hulu shares something in common with many other publishers that have embraced these methods – a modicum of control.

At the start of the year, it launched an invite-only private marketplace, meaning it gets to pre-specify the kinds of demand sources it will open its ad inventory to. That is in contrast to the way in which programmatic made its debut, as a free-for-all auction for unsold display ads.

“We’re going to do it in a very private, curtailed way,” Fleming adds. “There is no concept of a remnant provider, reselling our inventory. Everyone has to be blessed and driven through the Hulu process.”

“We identify the brands before they come in, so that they’re attributed to the appropriate seller on our side.

“We can category block appropriately, so people maintain their category exclusivity within pods.

“There’s no semblance of a DSP (demand-side platform) just hanging on and reselling, and an always-on situation.

This segment is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting 2019, Phoenix.   This series is sponsored by Telaria.  Please find additional videos from the series on this page