As Hulu unveiled a slate of new content offerings at its NewFronts presentation today, the streaming television service said it will beta test a new advertising format called the “binge advertising experience.” The new format will make it possible for marketers to target binge viewers with creative that is situationally relevant to their viewing behavior, VP & Head of Advertising Platforms Jeremy Helfand says in this interview with Beet.TV.
With almost 25% of its content viewed “in some sort of binge mode,” meaning three or more episodes at a given time, “There’s a tremendous opportunity to help brands align their messaging with the experience that the viewer’s having,” Helfand says. The new binge advertising experience “rewards the viewer for this natural experience, this natural behavior that’s how happening in streaming television.”
The binge advertising experience format will be beta tested in the third quarter and be fully available by the end of 2019, according to Helfand.
Among other new offerings, Hulu, which claims to have the lightest ad load in TV, will be instituting a daily frequency cap of four ads per day. It’s in addition to Hulu’s hourly frequency cap of two ads per 60 minutes of content.
“We know a number of our viewers are watching several hours of TV in a given day, and so adding this frequency management capability allows us to deliver a better overall experience for the viewer and a better ROI for the brand,” says Helfand.
At its presentation at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, Hulu said it has increased its total customer base to more than 28 million, with 26.8 million monthly paid subscribers and 1.3 million promotional accounts.
Hulu continues to fine-tune its various ad format offerings, which Helfand groups into four areas:
Transactional: Wherein viewers can interact with ads “while minimizing the intrusion to the storytelling journey.” With single click of remote, viewers can opt to have a second-screen experience with an advertiser.
Choice-Based: This gives viewers an opportunity to choose the type of advertising “or the journey they’re taking with an advertiser.”
Integrated Storytelling: To better co-mingle brands with content, one option is product placement “or it could be something like allowing the brand to be part of the overall content journey that’s happening while the viewer is watching.”
Situational: “It’s the idea that there are natural behaviors that are happening in streaming television today that represent a tremendous opportunity for the brand to really align their message with the behavior that’s happening. Binge is a great example of that.” Another example is Hulu’s “pause ad” that debuted in early 2019.
On the content side, Hulu announced that Marvel Television will bring two new live-action series to Hulu. Marvel’s Ghost Rider and Marvel’s Helstrom will debut on Hulu in 2020. Along with other partnerships and programs, Hulu will partner with Vox Media Studios, David Chang’s Majordomo Media and Chrissy Teigen’s Suit & Thai Productions to develop and produce a slate of premium food-centric programming.