Digital streaming has made inroads across the broadcast universe. As one of the top advertising supported venues for video, Hulu started in 2007 and offers a selection of TV shows, clips and movies. All are available for free and via their Hulu Plus subscription service at Hulu.com. Hulu’s content comes from current and previous TV programming, Hulu originals, Latino and other content from around the world.
Just like traditional TV, Hulu depends on revenue from sponsors to provide these videos free of charge. Ads are loaded dynamically as soon as the video is loaded and ads are purchased on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis similar to regular online display advertising. Occasionally, Hulu offers users the choice to watch one longer ad at the start of the video instead of shorter ads throughout.
A quick look at the Hulu viewer profile:
- 60% are 18-49 with an average age of 39
- 31% have $100k+ household income; $72k is the mean household income
- All viewers are within the United States (Hulu currently limits site access to US viewers only)
Hulu also provides viewers “Choice-based Ads.” Viewers can select ads based on the relevance to them, select advertisers that they prefer to watch, swap out ads that they are watching for others or set up preferences on ads in their user profile settings. This choice-based advertising empowers viewers and potentially increases engagement with the advertisement.
Other advertising advantages:
- All ads are “DVR proof,” meaning viewers cannot fast forward
- Hulu only charges upon 100% completion of the ad
- Targeting is available by state, DMA and zip code
- Hulu guarantees 100% delivery
Disadvantages include relatively low reach compared with more traditional TV. Although digital viewership is growing, Hulu receives only a percentage of that audience with other services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Ameba TV taking their share. Additionally, the inability of local advertisers to purchase weight in specific programs can limit some targeting.